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Thursday, 16 May 2013

How The World Has Reacted To Beckham's Retirement News

David Beckham announced his retirement from professional football on Thursday, after a memorable career in which he won league titles in four different countries and played at three World Cups.

Here, AFP Sports looks at how the world has reacted to news of his retirement, which will come into effect after Paris Saint-Germain's final game of the season at Lorient on May 26:

"Best wishes as David Beckham retires. His magical free-kicks for MUFC and England will live long in the memory of all football fans." - British Prime Minister David Cameron

"It's the end of a chapter of an amazing story. David grew up as a football loving child and achieved his dreams, and unquestionably inspired millions of boys and girls to try and do the same."- Fifa president Sepp Blatter

"I am sad that he is retiring. I would have liked him to continue for another year with us. It has been a great privilege for me and PSG that we were his last club." - Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi

"He played in the greatest midfield I've ever played with: David, Ryan Giggs, Roy Keane and Paul Scholes. David was a crosser of the ball, a passer of the ball. He had incredible stamina and energy. He was a joy to play with." - former Manchester United teammate and close friend Gary Neville

"He is an iconic figure in the game and produced wonderful performances for his clubs, particularly Manchester United. He is a real loss to the game and I am sure the FA will want to embrace him and to get him closely associated with the organisation." - Football Association chairman David Bernstein  

"A fantastic football player, a fantastic man; probably the biggest sports personality in the world. If you talk about David Beckham, all over the world they know who that it is." - Former England manager Sven Goran-Eriksson

"David Beckham has retired. A wonderful player, global superstar and a magnificent ambassador for England and football." - former England striker Gary Lineker

"David is a man of many talents and a lot of people now will be wanting him for different jobs and roles, some of which could take him away from us in football. But I'm rather hoping we'll be able to keep him in football because we can really benefit from his experience, we can really benefit from his charisma and we certainly benefit from the magnificent past he has had as a football player." - England manager Roy Hodgson

"It is impossible to think about the success of the London 2012 Games and not reflect upon the extraordinary commitment made by David Beckham. At every stage of the London 2012 journey – from the bid phase, to planning for the Games, to the torch relay and the unforgettable summer of sport in 2012 – David was a constant source of support and inspiration." - British Olympic Association chairman Sebastian Coe

"He adds an incredible intensity. He brought the focus to play each and every game. He taught our young players the little things you need to do to win games. He was an important part of the LA Galaxy being champions. I've never seen a player with his ability." - former Los Angeles Galaxy coach Bruce Arena

"He has been very special in that right midfield position. He was an unbelievable passer, crosser of the ball, and he could score goals as well. My lasting memory of David Beckham is him continuously being the last off the training pitch and always practising those trademark free-kicks." - former England manager Steve McClaren

"He came over to put MLS (Major League Soccer) on the map. That's really what David did. He was one of those few athletes that transcended the game. He was a global icon by that stage. People around the world heard of MLS because of David Beckham." - American former Premier League goalkeeper Kasey Keller

"Thanks for everything, Becks. You're a true legend." - Major League Soccer

"A great professional, a brilliant player. I wish him luck in whatever he goes on to do next. I'm sure he will enjoy success because he is a very intelligent man." - Diego Simeone, who was on the receiving end of the infamous kick that led to Beckham being sent off in the 1998 World Cup match between England and Argentina

"David Beckham you cannot be serious!!!" - Former tennis star John McEnroe

"We will miss you David Beckham." - Serena Williams

"He is incredible. He was always a big star on the pitch and off it. He has all my respect and admiration." - Tennis star, and Real Madrid fan, Rafael Nadal

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