PA Sport Staff
Eric Cantona has become the third player to be inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame.
The 54-year-old former Manchester United forward follows in the footsteps of Alan Shearer and Thierry Henry, who were announced as the first two inductees on April 26th.
Cantona, who began his career in England at Leeds, scored 70 goals in 156 Premier League appearances and won four titles in five seasons for Manchester United.
Commanding and charismatic, a master of counter-attacking football and one of the greatest players the Premier League has seen
👑 Eric Cantona is inducted to the #PLHallOfFame pic.twitter.com/skAujPOxFa
— Premier League (@premierleague) May 18, 2021
Commenting on his induction, the talismanic Frenchman said: “I am very happy and very proud, but at the same time I am not surprised.
“I would’ve been surprised not to be elected! I have been lucky to play in this team, with wonderful players, a wonderful manager and wonderful fans.
“We won and it was the football I dreamed about because Manchester United, it’s a club where they want to win things but in a good way.”
Cantona is one of the six players from a 23-man shortlist to receive the most combined votes from the public and the Premier League Awards Panel and the next five inductees will be announced over the next three days.
The Hall of Fame was launched last month to “recognise and celebrate the exceptional skill and talent of players who have graced the League since its inception in 1992”.
A fans’ vote closed on May 9th, while to be eligible, players must have been retired by August 1st, 2020. Only a player’s Premier League career was considered.