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Tributes paid to Beckham after retirement decision

England boss Roy Hodgson has been one of many within football to pay tribute to David Beckham, who announced his retirement on Thursday.

The Paris Saint-Germain midfielder, who is the most capped outfield player for his country with 115 appearances, is to retire from football at the end of the season and Hodgson said he hopes Beckham continues to remain in the game in some capacity.

Hodgson said: “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.”

He wasn’t the only person within the game to speak about Beckham, with former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson describing him as “probably the biggest sports personality in the world”.

“If you talk about David Beckham, all over the world they know who that it is,” the Swede stated.

“I don’t think there is any other football player more popular than him. I remember all the matches with England and all the travelling – airports, hotels – and it was all about Beckham all the time.

“I rank him very, very highly. I never had any doubts about picking him.”

Gary Neville was part of the famous Manchester United golden generation alongside the likes of Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs. Neville also played in United and England teams alongside Beckham and said “it does feel like it’s the end of an era, the end of a generation”.

“David was different – he was a crosser of the ball, a passer of the ball, he was a joy to play with,” he continued.

“He has probably been the most influential player out of England in transforming football. The impact he has had is enormous.”

Former England striker Gary Lineker took to Twitter to express his fondness of the former Manchester United midfielder.

tweeted: “David Beckham has retired. A wonderful player, global
superstar and a magnificent ambassador for England and football.”

Thu 16 May, 2013
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