|United and Everton legend Wayne Rooney and Arsenal's iconic "Invincibles" captain Patrick Vieira have been named in the Premier League Hall of Fame 2022. (Photo credit: Premierleague.com)|
Iconic Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira and Manchester United’s top goal scorer Wayne Rooney have both been inducted into Premier League’s Hall of Fame.
The premier league Hall of Fame recognizes and celebrates the exceptional skill and talent of individuals who have graced the Premier League since its inception in 1992. It is the highest individual honor awarded to players by the League.
The former Everton star and the current Crystal Palace boss are the first inductees of 2022, with a public vote to pick the next six expected to open up today, the two join Thierry Henry and Alan Shearer who were the inaugural inductees in 2021.
Patrick Vieira was the captain of the record breaking “invincibles”, he led the Arsenal team to the league title without tasting defeat. Vieira scored 31 goals from the heart of Arsenal’s midfield and added 34 assists in 307 games and won the league title three times.
Wayne Rooney spent 13 years at Old Trafford where he rose to become the club’s record goal scorer, he netted 208 times in 491 appearances in total across Old Trafford and Everton and set up a further 103, only two players bettered that number till date.
"It's a huge honor for me to be named in the Premier League Hall of Fame, alongside an incredible group of players who have already been inducted," Rooney says.
"Growing up, I watched the Premier League as far back as I can remember. My dream was always to become a professional footballer, score goals and win trophies, and I was lucky enough to win the Premier League five times.
"I have so many brilliant memories from my years playing for Everton and Manchester United, and I'm really proud of what we achieved. To enter the Hall of Fame is very special for me personally and I'm grateful to be recognized."
“Being inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame is a fantastic achievement," Vieira says. "When I received the news, I thought about being a young boy playing in Senegal, or in a suburb of Paris.
"To be there with the best players in the Premier League, the best league in the world, is bigger than what I was ever thinking about. To have my name around those players makes me proud and makes me realize how good I was.
“It’s not bad company to join. I was lucky to play at the same time as some of them, of course including Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp, so to share the stage with them makes me realize I had a really good career.
“What really makes me happy and proud is when your name is mentioned by new, up-and-coming holding midfielders as an example of how they would like to play.”