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David Beckham ends an 'amazing story'; lauded by FIFA as a transcendent figure in soccer

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    FILE- In this June 3, 2006, file photo, England's David Beckham dribbles the ball against Jamaica during their international friendly soccer match at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England. The 38-year-old midfielder, who recently won a league title in a fourth country with Paris Saint-Germain, said Thursday, May 16, 2013, he will retire after the season. (AP Photo/Dave Thompson, File) (The Associated Press)

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    FILE - In this June 20, 2006, file photo, England's captain David Beckham acknowledges fans after their 2-2 draw with Sweden in a World Cup Group B soccer match at the World Cup Stadium in Cologne, Germany. The 38-year-old midfielder, who recently won a league title in a fourth country with Paris Saint-Germain, said Thursday, May 16, 2013, he will retire after the season. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian, File) (The Associated Press)

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    FILE - In this Nov. 17, 2003 file photo, soccer player David Beckham pauses during a signing session for his autobiography "My Side" held at a London bookstore. Beckham says he is retiring from soccer at the end of the season. The 38-year-old Beckham recently won a league title in a fourth country with Paris Saint-Germain. He has become a global superstar since starting his career at Manchester United. (AP Photo/Richard Lewis, FIle) (The Associated Press)

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    FILE - In this Aug. 27, 2002 file photo, Manchester United's David Beckham, right, celebrates his goal against Zalaegerszeg of Hungary with teammate Philip Neville, left, during their UEFA Champions League qualifying match in Manchester, England. Beckham says he is retiring from soccer at the end of the season. The 38-year-old Beckham recently won a league title in a fourth country with Paris Saint-Germain. He has become a global superstar since starting his career at Manchester United. (AP Photo/Max Nash, FIle) (The Associated Press)

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    FILE - In this May 26, 2007, file photo, Real Madrid's David Beckham of England, reacts after receiving a yellow card during a Spanish league match against Deportivo la Coruna at the Santiago Bernabau stadium in Madrid. The 38-year-old midfielder, who recently won a league title in a fourth country with Paris Saint-Germain, said Thursday, May 16, 2013, he will retire after the season. (AP Photo/Paul White, File) (The Associated Press)

Reaction to David Beckham's decision to retire from soccer:

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"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.

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"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.

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

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"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.

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"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.

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"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.

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"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.

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"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.

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"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.

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"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.

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"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, LA, 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

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"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.

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

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"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.

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"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.

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