Eric Cantona inducted into Premier League Hall of Fame

Frenchman won four league titles in his five seasons at Manchester United

Former Manchester United forward Eric Cantona has been inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame.

Cantona scored 70 goals in 156 Premier League appearances for United, where he won the league title four times in five seasons before his retirement in May 1997.

The former France international and Roy Keane became the first Manchester United players from the past to be part of six inductees chosen from a 23-man shortlist after a fans' vote.

"I am very happy and very proud and at the same time, I am not surprised!" said 54-year-old Cantona. "I would've been surprised not to be elected."

Cantona was a talismanic figure at Old Trafford after his surprise move from Leeds in November 1992, helping United end a 26-year wait for a top-flight title as the Red Devils won the inaugural Premier League.

Nicknamed "The King", Cantona would help United win four of the first five Premier League titles.

He served a nine-month ban for kung-fu kicking a Crystal Palace fan in the crowd at Selhurst Park in January 1995, but returned to the team to help them complete a league-and-cup double in 1996.

"Of course, to play in England was a dream. It is a dream of everybody to play in the Premier League," he added.

"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."

Former England striker Alan Shearer and ex-France forward Thierry Henry became the first players announced into the Premier League Hall of Fame last month.

In order to be eligible for induction, players must have been retired by August 1, 2020.

Updated: May 18, 2021 06:58 PM

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