Former football managers Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger have been inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame.
The legendary duo won 16 Premier League titles between them while developing a fierce rivalry over the years when managing their respective clubs, Manchester United and Arsenal.
They are also the first to be inducted as part of the ‘Class of 2023’.
Ferguson, 81, is the most successful manager in Premier League history and has won a record 13 titles – including winning the title for an unprecedented three seasons in a row on two separate occasions – before retiring in 2013.
After arriving at Old Trafford in 1986, Ferguson helped turn the club back into one of English football’s juggernauts and went on to dethrone Liverpool as the club with the most top-flight English league titles.
Ferguson also won the inaugural Premier League title in the 1992-93 campaign and he would manage some of the game’s best players during his incredible 27-year spell as Red Devils manager.
Renowned for his brilliant leadership skills and ability to rebuild title-winning teams time and time again, Ferguson’s all-time Premier League record stands at 528 wins from 810 matches and 1,752 points accumulated.
He was named manager of the season 11 times and collected the Manager of the Month award on 27 occasions.
Ferguson said: ‘I’m truly delighted to be inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame. It’s an honour when you receive recognition like this.
‘However, it’s not just about me as a person. It’s about the job at Manchester United and the bond we had over many years, so I’m also proud for the club, the staff and my players.
‘My job was to send the fans home happy. United’s history and my own expectations were the things that drove me, and I then had to try and develop all my players with the same expectations and make sure we could go out and achieve them.
‘I feel Arsene is a very worthy inductee as he transformed Arsenal Football Club fantastically. They became a tough team to compete with and we both wanted to win, which motivated us further.
‘Through the years since retirement, we’d go for dinner together in a little restaurant he knows well in Switzerland. He is a really interesting man and I enjoy his company, but it is still my job to pick the wine!’
Wenger managed to win the Premier League title in his first full campaign as Arsenal manager in the 1997-98 season, but five years beyond that would see him achieve his greatest accomplishment to date.
Wenger made history in the 2003-04 season when his Arsenal side went the whole campaign unbeaten to win the title, with his side being dubbed the ‘Invincibles’.
Wenger has managed a record 828 Premier League matches, including 476 wins and 199 draws. He was voted Manager of the Season in 1998, 2002, and 2004.
Wenger said: ‘I am very grateful to have been selected for the Premier League Hall of Fame. We always wanted to give something special to the fans and when you have players capable of remarkable things, the most important thing for me is the obligation of perfection.
‘I’d like to be known as someone who loved Arsenal, who respected the values of the club and left it in a position where it can grow and become even bigger.
‘To share this with Sir Alex is a great honour for me. It’s like two boxers, you fight like mad and go the distance together.
‘At the end of the day, you have respect and it will be a great opportunity to meet with him, share a good bottle of wine and memories of our old battles.’
Eight inductees were named as part of the inaugural group when the Hall of Fame was launched in 2021.