It’s been an interesting week in the Premier League, from Liverpool (finally) losing to Watford of all teams to controversies with VAR again.
But something was unveiled by the league within the past week and that was the announcement of the Premier League Hall of Fame.
The Premier League will “recognize and celebrate the exceptional skill and talent of players who have graced the competition since its inception in 1992,” according to their website. The league also said the first two inductees will be revealed on March 19, with fans being able to vote.
The Premier League has been home to iconic names like Roy Keane, Eric Cantona and Dennis Bergkamp just to name a few. Many soccer fans have since debated who should be the first two in out of the wide range of players possible.
The inductees can’t just be any Premier League players, however. According to the Premier League, to qualify the players must be retired and the duration of their time in the league will be considered. Sorry Liverpool fans, unfortunately you can’t select Divock Origi or Virgil van Dijk; give it at least another 10 years or so.
It was a difficult choice to only select two players to enter the Hall of Fame, but in todays’ column I will explain my first two choices along with an honorable mention.
First entry: Ryan Giggs
When Ryan Giggs did this… pic.twitter.com/V0LLGGGzfY
— 90s Football (@90sfootball) February 27, 2020
One of the more popular choices that a lot of soccer fans agree on is the entry of Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs, and for good reason.
The Welshman is the most decorated player in Premier League history: 13 league titles, four FA Cups and two Champions League trophies just to name a few. Giggs spent his entire career at Old Trafford and rightfully so as he was part of Sir Alex Ferguson’s golden generation squads.
If you’ve seen highlight clips of his time at Fergie’s Man United, Giggs’ play style was an attention-grabber. While he has over 900 appearances throughout his career, he only has 161 career goals, the majority of them coming from the Premier League (109). He has, however, provided nearly 250 assists with 158 of them in the Premier League, which makes sense given he’s a midfielder.
Second entry: Alan Shearer
Speaking of goals, my second entry to the Hall of Fame is former Newcastle and Blackburn Rovers striker Alan Shearer.
It would be dumb to not add him along Giggs. Shearer holds the title of the most Premier League goals in history of 260 goals. The only other player to be close to Shearer’s record is former Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney of 208 goals.
Unlike Giggs, Alan Shearer only won a single title in 1995 with Blackburn. Besides that, he’s won player of the year with both Newcastle and Blackburn and was the top scorer of the 1996 Euros, three different times in the Premier League and back-to-back in the 2003-2005 UEFA Cup.
Honorable mention: Thierry Henry
Arsenal, back when they were actually decent, held some of the greatest players the world had seen at the time in Highbury. They had the likes of Dennis Bergkamp, Gaël Clichy and Patrick Vieira to name a few. But one player who stood out to the Gunners’ frontline was center forward Thierry Henry.
The Frenchman was part of then-manager Arsène Wenger’s “invincible squad,” where in the 2003/04 Premier League season Arsenal went the entire season without losing, along with 26 wins and 12 draws.
Henry is the sixth-highest goal scorer in the Premier League (176) and is the only other non-English player besides Sergio Agüero to be in the top 10 goal scorers in Premier League history.