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19/05/2014 15:30, Report by Ben Hibbs

Football world hails Giggs

Ryan Giggs brought the curtain down on his glittering playing career today, announcing the news on ManUtd.com via an open letter to fans, just an hour after being named assistant manager to new boss Louis van Gaal.

On a momentous day of mixed emotions at Old Trafford, Giggs said: "For me, today is a new chapter filled with many emotions - immense pride, sadness, but most of all excitement towards the future. To the greatest fans in world football, thank you, I have loved every minute of playing for you and representing the biggest and best club in the world.”

The 40-year-old Welshman enjoyed an astonishing 24-season career in which he made an incredible 963 appearances, scoring 168 goals and winning an incredible 34 major honours. His credentials are recognised the world over, and the footballing community cite him as a key reference point in modern football.

It is no surprise, then, that prominent figures in the game happily wax lyrical about the Welshman's influence, longevity, success and talent. Watch their tributes to Ryan's brilliant career in the video above.

More: Ryan Giggs open letter to fans

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