Former football players, Sergio Aguero, Paul Scholes, Vincent Kompany, Didier Drogba, Ian Wright, and Peter Schmeichel have been inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame.
The football stars join Wayne Rooney and Patrick Vieira as the latest players to become part of the Premier League’s Hall of Fame, taking the total up to 16.
Their selection was based on a public online vote and the Premier League Awards Panel, with the Hall of Fame recognising the best players to have graced the league since its inception in 1992.
Sergio Aguero left Manchester City in 2021 as the highest scoring overseas player in Premier League history, with 184 goals in just 275 appearances over a 10-year period in which he won five league titles.
The 33-year-old former Argentina international, who retired from professional football due to a heart condition earlier this season, is also City’s all-time leading scorer on 260 goals in 390 appearances.
“Entering the Hall of Fame makes me happy for myself and for my family,” he said. “I just loved playing football here with Manchester City and the memories of winning the Premier League five times, including the most important goal of my career to win that first one.
“Since I was nine or 10 years old, I wanted to play in the Premier League. I think it is the best league in the world, where the football is fast and beautiful and the atmosphere is always incredible. I miss my team-mates and the fans a lot still now.”
Former Manchester United and England midfielder Paul Scholes came through at Old Trafford as part of the famous Class of ’92, which included David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville, Phil Neville and Nicky Butt.
He won the Premier League 11 times with United under Sir Alex Ferguson, before calling time on his career at the same time as his manager in 2013, scoring 107 goals in 499 Premier League appearances.
“It’s a special feeling to be inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame along with so many fantastic players who have already been voted in and with the players who are being named today,” said Scholes.
“I played for the best manager for 20 years at Manchester United; the biggest club in the world with the greatest fans. I feel lucky and privileged I was part of a team that won so many trophies and to have won the Premier League 11 times.”
Didier Drogba won the Premier League four times over two spells at Chelsea, as he built a reputation for himself as a man for the big occasion.
The former Ivory Coast international, who won the Golden Boot in 2006/07 and 2009/10, amassed 104 goals in 254 Premier League appearances for the Blues.
“It is a real honour for me to have been inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame,” said Drogba. “My years with Chelsea were so special to me, and I’m incredibly proud of everything we won as a team.
“I played with fantastic players for some amazing managers and against brilliant opponents. I’m so happy to say that I won the Premier League four times – and now I’m in the Hall of Fame with some of those great players I played alongside and against, which makes me very proud.”
Vincent Kompany spent 11 seasons at Manchester City and played a vital role in transforming the club into a title-winning force, lifting the Premier League four times during his spell at the Etihad.
The defender, who joined City in 2008, was named Premier League Player of the Season in 2011/12 as he captained the side to their first Premier League trophy in a closely fought title race with rivals Manchester United.
“I feel that I found a home at Manchester City and in the Premier League, so I am delighted to be joining the Hall of Fame,” said Kompany.
“I came to love the club and I think the biggest achievement of my career was to be part of such an incredible journey, where we progressed from a side without high expectations to become a dominant force and champions four times.”
Ian Wright was a prolific goalscorer for Arsenal and helped the club win the Premier League for the first time in 1997/98. It was the same season in which he became the Gunners’ all-time leading scorer, a record now held by Thierry Henry.
Wright, who was the Gunners’ top scorer six seasons in a row, finished his Premier League career after spells with Arsenal and West Ham with 113 Premier League goals in 213 appearances
“It’s a real privilege to be inducted into the Hall of Fame,” said Wright. “You have to remember that for the majority of my football journey I never thought I’d become a professional footballer. So to do that, enjoy the times I had with the fans and my team-mates and now to receive this accolade, is a true honour. I feel really humbled.
“Growing up in south London, football was my escape. We played for pure enjoyment and that’s something that never left me when I played the game. I always felt like I was running out of time and this recognition is a special reminder to appreciate the journey, the hard work and getting over the doubts I had.
“I also have to thank so many incredible team-mates, backroom staff, and managers, most notably Steve Coppell who gave me the chance and shaped the player I became.”
Former Manchester United shot-stopper Peter Schmeichel becomes the first goalkeeper inducted into the Hall of Fame after winning the Premier League in five of his seven seasons at Old Trafford.
Schmeichel kept 128 clean sheets in 310 Premier League appearances and remains the only goalkeeper to have won the Premier League Player of the Year for the 1995/96 campaign.
The Dane, who also had spells with Aston Villa and Manchester City, managed to register one Premier League goal too.
“I am very honoured to be inducted into the Hall of Fame,” said Schmeichel. “I understood straight away that your career is only for a very short period of time. You have to make the best of that opportunity and make sure you’re someone who is remembered because you did something.
“When I was a kid in Denmark I used to fall asleep to this dream of playing for Manchester United. The team I was part of was so good that winning the Premier League once was special, but we felt we had to retain it to prove ourselves, and it was a dream come true for me to win five titles.”
The Premier League Hall of Fame launched in 2021, with Thierry Henry and Alan Shearer the inaugural inductees. David Beckham, Dennis Bergkamp, Eric Cantona, Steven Gerrard, Roy Keane, and Frank Lampard soon followed to complete the ‘Class of 2021’.