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Kirsty Wigglesworth, Associated Press
FILE This Saturday, June 2, 2012 file photo shows England's David Beckham in a special half-time ceremony to honor the five players that have played for England over 100 times each during the international friendly soccer match between England and Belgium at Wembley Stadium in London. Beckham announced today that he is retiring from the game of soccer after playing for five different clubs.
Myself and the children have cheered him from the stands, as he has held high trophies ... this was not an easy decision to make, and to me and the children he will always be an amazing sportsman and a devoted husband and father. —Victoria Beckham, Wife of David Beckham

Reaction to David Beckham's decision to retire from football at the end of the season, which he announced Thursday:

"Myself and the children have cheered him from the stands, as he has held high trophies ... this was not an easy decision to make, and to me and the children he will always be an amazing sportsman and a devoted husband and father." — Victoria Beckham.

"David Beckham, one of the most iconic figures in global football is retiring from playing. It's the end of a chapter of an amazing story. David grew up as a football-loving child & achieved his dreams, and unquestionably inspired millions of boys & girls to try & do the same." — FIFA President Sepp Blatter on Twitter.

"He is a fantastic footballer and a fantastic person. All over the world you say 'David Beckham' and people know who that is." — Former England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson.

"I met him a few times in Madrid. He's amazing, his attitude on (pitch) was amazing — impossible to be better, always fighting for everything." — tennis star Rafael Nadal.

"I wish him well in the future whatever he chooses to do and I personally hope that will be in football." — England coach Roy Hodgson.

"The Prime Minister's view is that David Beckham has been an outstanding footballer throughout his career, but not only that, he has been a brilliant ambassador for this country, not least if we remember all the work he did on helping us win London 2012." — statement from British Prime Minister David Cameron's office.

"It is impossible to think about the success of the London 2012 Games and not reflect upon the extraordinary commitment made by David Beckham." — Sebastian Coe, head of the London Olympic organizing committee.

"Soccer players think about their brand now, and that's because of David Beckham and it was something he cultivated. It made him incredibly valuable and enabled him to reach so many different people that even the world's best players couldn't." — Former United States defender Alexi Lalas.

"David always played with the greatest passion and became an iconic figure in our national game ... I am sure he will have so much to give back to the game in future, whatever he chooses to do." — English Football Association chairman David Bernstein.

"Today is a day to celebrate David Beckham and the completion of his fabulous career. In addition to being such a great player, David is also a great personality, a great teammate, a great friend and family man. He is a person that you cannot replace, on the field or off and our club is in a better position for having him play for us in the six years that he did." — LA Galaxy general manager and coach Bruce Arena.

"My lasting memory of David Beckham is him continuously being the last off the training pitch and always practicing those trademark free-kicks." — Former England coach Steve McClaren.

"He just feels he's taken it as far as he can. He wanted to come back home, he's been away for 22 years and he's got to the end of the road ... In leaving the country, to Milan, L.A., Paris, he has transported England around the world and that's something he was aware of and wanted to do. Every clothing garment he wore, every hairstyle was followed - not just in football but out of football." — Former Manchester United teammate Gary Neville

"I felt that for the last three or four years possibly he's been a global celebrity superstar and it's not been about football." — Former Manchester United player Gordon McQueen.

"His arrival at the club may have been greeted with some skepticism but his performances as a player quickly won over the non-believers." — AC Milan club statement.

"I would like to wish him all the best for all of his future projects ... We are talking about the possibility of continuing our work together." — PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi.

"Already had a few phone calls but to clear things up Beckham's last game is against FC Lorient not us." — Third-tier English side Leyton Orient in a joke on Twitter.

A number of fans have taken to Twitter to express their reactions to Beckham's retirement as well: