Eric Cantona says he is “very happy and very proud – but not surprised” to be inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame.
The 54-year-old becomes the third player to be honoured after Alan Shearer and Thierry Henry were announced as the first two inductees last month.
Cantona joined Leeds from French Side Nimes in 1992, but it was at Manchester United – following a £1.2million transfer in November of the same year – where he would he made his bigggest impact on English football.
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He scored 70 goals in 156 top-flight games for the Red Devils, helping the club to end their 26-year title drought under Sir Alex Ferguson and going on to win four titles in five seasons.
‘King Eric’ was frequently involved in controversy during his time in England and in 1995 he infamously kung-fu kicked a fan, which led to a nine-month ban.
Commenting on his induction, Cantona told The Athletic: “I am very happy and very proud, but at the same time I am not surprised.
“Of course, to play in England was a dream. It is a dream of everybody to play in the Premier League.
“I have been lucky to play in this [Manchester United] team with wonderful players, a wonderful manager and wonderful fans.
“It was the football I dreamt about because Manchester United is a club where they want to win things but in a good way. It was like this in the time of Matt Busby. This is the identity of this club, the philosophy of this club.”
The Premier League Hall of Fame “recognises and honours former players who have an exceptional record of on-pitch success and have shown significant contribution to the League since its inception in 1992”.
Players must have been retired by August 1 2020 to be eligible for inclusion.
Here’s the remaining 22-man shortlist for the Hall of Fame:
Tony Adams, David Beckham, Dennis Bergkamp, Sol Campbell, Andrew Cole, Ashley Cole, Didier Drogba, Les Ferdinand, Rio Ferdinand, Robbie Fowler, Steven Gerrard, Roy Keane, Frank Lampard, Matt Le Tissier, Michael Owen, Peter Schmeichel, Paul Scholes, John Terry, Robin van Persie, Nemanja Vidic, Patrick Viera, Ian Wright.
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