Gerrard, Lampard, Beckham: Ranking Premier League icons shortlisted for Hall of Fame

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The Premier League have named their 23-man shortlist for the official Hall of Fame.

Having unveiled Thierry Henry and Alan Shearer as the inaugural entrants to the new initiative, England's top-flight has now turned to the fans to decide who will follow in their footsteps.

That's because supporters will now get the chance to vote on the 23 icons with six of them eventually being chosen to join the Hall of Fame - and the competition is going to be brutal.

Premier League legends

However, here at GIVEMESPORT, we love to make tough decisions and love to create rankings even more, so we've turned our attention to the 24 players and ordered them from top to bottom.

Yes, it is a ranking of who we think the best players were in one respect, but our main selection criteria is wider Premier League significance, which has been at the heart of the Hall of Fame approach.

In other words, yes, holding several records in the competition and an obscene amount of titles will indeed give you a major advantage over less decorated players even if they were more talented.

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Ranking Hall of Fame candidates

And remember, only players who have retired before August 1, 2020, are eligible for selection and they must have made at least 250 Premie League appearances unless they meet alternative criteria.

But all the disclaimers aside, let's dive into the action and inevitable controversy by checking out our list of the Premier League Hall of Fame contenders down below:

23. Les Ferdinand

Someone had to come last, so we're still incredibly sorry, Les, because you're one of the most underrated goalscorers in Premier League history. We just think your other nominees edge it slightly.

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22. Matt Le Tissier

A maverick of the likes we've never seen since in the Premier League, Le Tissier is less about the fact he scored 100 goals and more to do with the manner in which he bagged them: spectacularly.

21. Ian Wright

Again, this feels incredibly harsh because Wright has a superb goal-per-game ratio in the Premier League, but with 'just' one league title to his name, we're reluctantly placing him this far down.

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20. Robbie Fowler

Ok, ok, I'm well aware that Fowler has even fewer titles than Wright, but 'God' gets the nod because there's good reason to think he was the division's greatest ever natural finisher in his early years at Liverpool.

19. Sol Campbell

Being an 'Invincible' alone is a massive tick in the box, though make no mistake that Campbell had long shown his class at Tottenham. We just happen to think that three centre-halves rank higher.

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18. David Beckham

It's easy to forget the technical brilliance of Beckham when his name is so often sewn up in celebrity and fame, but make no mistake that 'Golden Balls' was vital to United's success at the turn of the century.

17. Michael Owen

Call this generous if you dare, but lest we forget that Owen won the Ballon d'Or during his peak at Liverpool, making an impression on the Premier League like few players have before injuries set in.

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16. Robin van Persie

With back-to-back Premier League Golden Boots and the PFA Player of the Year award, Van Persie was unstoppable during his prime, but it sadly burned all-too briefly for him to place much higher.

15. Andy Cole

It's scandalous how little praise Cole earns despite being the third-highest goalscorer in Premier League history. He was an unstoppable force of nature when he burst on the scene with Newcastle.

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14. Tony Adams

The inspiring captain behind Arsenal's first two Premier League title wins, Adams would stroll into the greatest XI in the division's history if it wasn't for two legends higher up the list...

13. Dennis Bergkamp

Are we budging on our footballing ability promise a little? Perhaps, but anybody who watched the Arsenal icon and his technical majesty will share our soft spot. Oh, and he's an 'Invincible', too.

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12. Didier Drogba

With a brace of Premier League Golden Boots, Drogba's best form might have come in fits and starts, but his trophy cabinet doesn't lie with four league titles and a place in the 100-goal club.

11. Ashley Cole

A Premier League winner with both Arsenal and Chelsea, you can't look past Cole as the greatest left-back that the competition has ever seen. There just happens to be 10 players ahead of him.

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10. Rio Ferdinand

A majestic mixture of ball-playing brilliance and steely defending, Ferdinand hoovered up Premier League titles during his heyday at United and strolled into six PFA Team of the Year selections.

9. Peter Schmeichel

The greatest goalkeeper in Premier League history. Schmeichel was a world-beater between the sticks and his saves against Newcastle and Liverpool remain some of the division's greatest ever.

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8. Steven Gerrard

Let me reiterate, if this was based on pure footballing ability then Gerrard would rank much higher, but eighth is nothing to be sniffed at for an absolute genius who just fell short of Premier League glory.

7. Nemanja Vidic

The second-greatest centre-back that the Premier League has ever seen and the only defender to win the Player of the Year award twice, Vidic was an absolute animal in one of United's finest ever teams.

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6. Patrick Vieira

A bona fide Rolls Royce in midfield, nothing screams Premier League provenance quite like captaining the only team in the competition's history to go an entire season unbeaten.

5. Eric Cantona

The sheer brilliance of Cantona changed the Premier League forever by way of sparking United's era of dominance, inspiring them to their first four titles before bowing out in a blaze of glory.

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4. Roy Keane

The greatest leader in Premier League history and one of its most underrated players in terms of footballing ability, Keane is a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame with a cool seven titles to his name.

3. Paul Scholes

Regardless of whether the statistics shine brightly on Scholes or not - though 11 league titles is a stunning return - he is undoubtedly one of the competitions' greatest ever technicians.

And it says everything that everyone from Xavi to Zinedine Zidane can vouch for that fact.

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2. Frank Lampard

For a midfielder to be the fifth-highest goalscorer in Premier League history is nothing short of staggering, so combine that with over 100 assists and Lampard's impact is simply indelible.

1. John Terry

The only captain to lift five Premier League titles, Terry competed for the Ballon d'Or when he led the tightest defence in the competition's history - conceding just 15 goals - so deserves the top spot.

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Who makes your Hall of Fame?

Have we got things spot on or completely wide of the mark? Who would you pick next in the Premier League Hall of Fame?

And we don't just mean those questions as token gestures because although we stand by our picks, lest we forget that it's Premier League fans as a whole who will decide the next six inductees.

So, if you feel that L. Ferdinand, Le Tissier and Wright are in the fact the most deserving candidates, then power to that, because it's ultimately a game of opinions and that's the whole beauty of it.

Premier League Hall of Fame Debate (Football Terrace)

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