The Premier League inducted its first two candidates into its Hall of Fame this week – Thierry Henry and Alan Shearer.

This was followed by the announcement of a 23-person shortlist from which the next group of players will be selected.

Ten former United players were there, so we took on the challenge of rounding them up to the starting XI by making tough decisions.


(Photo by Uwe Kraft / ullstein bild via Getty Images)

Peter Schmeichel is on the shortlist and is arguably the best goalkeeper who has played for a club in the Premier League.

Edwin van der Sar and David de Gea were also exceptional for United in the Premier League, but Schmeichel has to be the first to enter the Hall of Fame.

He’s the only goalkeeper on the shortlist and looks like he’s the first to enter the Hall of Fame.

(John Peters / Manchester United via Getty Images)

Back four

Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic are the only former United defenders shortlisted.

Steve Bruce and Gary Pallister were another formidable central defensive duo at Old Trafford, which contributed to the crucial top division title in 1993 but were overlooked here.

United full-backs have been overlooked but there is only one right-back candidate – Gary Neville.

On the left, it’s a head-to-head fight between Patrice Evra and Denis Irwin.

The defense with Evra alongside Vidic and Ferdinand at their best was impressive and set the league record for most games in 2008/09 without conceding a goal – 14 (1,311 minutes).

Irwin won the treble so we’ll give him the nod here – but either he or Evra would be worth including.

(Ben Radford / Corbis via Getty Images)


Three other three-time winners – David Beckham, Roy Keane and Paul Scholes – are on the shortlist.

Nobody could argue with their selection. Ryan Giggs, the division’s most distinguished player, is a notable omission.

Perhaps the recent problems outside of the field contributed to this.

Cristiano Ronaldo does not meet the criteria for inclusion as he is still playing and the Premier League wants all Initiates to retire on or before August 1, 2020.

That said, Giggs rounds out our United midfield on the left.

(Photo by Shaun Botterill / Getty Images)


Three former United strikers were shortlisted – Eric Cantona, Andy Cole and Robin van Persie.

Wayne Rooney is not eligible as he did not retire until January this year.

Cantona is an automatic selection. He made the club what it is today, raised the standards and inspired this glorious spell in the early to mid-1990s.

He was also crucial in promoting the fabled class of ’92 and underlining what to expect at Old Trafford. He’s a club icon.

What van Persie did for United – scoring the goals to win the title 20 – cannot be forgotten.

But in the Premier League, Cole has the edge. He is the third top scorer in the history of the competition and another three-time winner.

Full team: Peter Schmeichel, Gary Neville, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Denis Irwin, David Beckham, Roy Keane, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Eric Cantona, Andy Cole

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