On March 29, Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger became the first managers to be inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame.
Beginning in the 1990s, the two men engaged in a period of ferocious rivalry during which they shared 16 English top-flight championships.
Ferguson, the most successful manager in Premier League history, led Manchester United to 13 championships. Wenger, with Arsenal, won the competition three times, including an undefeated 2003–04 campaign.
Ferguson, who oversaw United for over 26 years, won the first Premier League title in 1992–93, giving the Red Devils their first league triumph since 1967.
“It’s an honour when you receive recognition like this,” said Ferguson, who retired in 2013 after winning his 13th title.
“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.”
One of the first foreign managers in the Premier League, Wenger joined Arsenal in 1996 and stayed with the team until 2018.
The Frenchman brought a focus on nutrition and sports science to the English game of football by implementing a revolutionary football philosophy.
His dedication to playing exciting, offensive football led to the club’s championship in 1997–98, his first entire season with the organization.
Wenger led a clever transfer plan that included scouting abroad for potential. Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry, both Hall of Fame members, were his essential players.
“To share this with Sir Alex is a great honour for me,” said the 73-year-old, currently FIFA’s football development chief.
“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.”