The Frenchman has been recognised for his outstanding achievements at Old Trafford between 1992 and 1997
Manchester United legend Eric Cantona insisted he was “not surprised” after being inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame, with his former team-mate Roy Keane also making the cut after a public vote.
The league’s all-time record goalscorer Alan Shearer and Arsenal great Thierry Henry became the inaugural inductees into the Hall of Fame, which has been dubbed the highest individual honour given to players by the league.
Cantona and Keane have now joined the duo as the third and fourth players to be included in the prestigious line-up, with the former giving a typically immodest response when bestowed with the accolade on Tuesday.
What’s been said?
The Frenchman, who became a cult hero at Old Trafford between 1992 and 1997, told the Premier League’s official website: “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.”
Cantona’s achievements at Man Utd
Cantona was snapped up by United during the inaugural 1992-93 Premier League season after winning the old First Division crown with Leeds United.
The mercurial forward went on to appear in 156 top-flight games for the Red Devils, scoring 70 goals and providing 56 assists.
Cantona helped United to win four titles in five years before announcing his retirement at the age of 30, and was fondly nicknamed “The King” by supporters.
Keane’s Premier League record
Keane signed for United from Nottingham Forest in 1993 and soon became a talismanic figure in Sir Alex Ferguson’s starting XI, picking up seven Premier League titles over the course of his 12-year career at Old Trafford.
The former Republic of Ireland international featured in 366 top-flight games in total, scoring 39 goals, and also won two Player of the Month awards.
“I feel very lucky to be inducted but I’ve only been inducted because of the players I’ve played with,” Keane said of his inclusion in the Hall of Fame.
How many other players will be included in the Hall of Fame?
Cantona and Keane are the first of six players to be included in the class of 2021 after a vote from the public and Premier League panel, with Shearer and Henry having been the only two automatic inductees.
Four more top-flight stars will be named in the Hall of Fame by the end of the week, with the likes of Paul Scholes, Frank Lampard, Dennis Bergkamp and Steven Gerrard among the remaining 21 nominees.