Manchester - Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes on Tuesday announced his retirement from football with immediate effect and will join the club's coaching staff.
The 36-year-old made 676 appearances for the club, with his last coming as a second-half substitute as United lost 3-1 to Barcelona in Saturday's Champions League final at Wembley.
The midfielder won 10 Premier League titles as well as two Champions Leagues and the FA Cup three times in a career spent entirely at United.
There had been growing speculation about his future in recent weeks as he grew dissatisfied with his increasingly bit-part role at Old Trafford.
Announcing his retirement, he said: "This was not a decision I have taken lightly but I feel now is the right time for me to stop playing."
"I am not a man of many words but I can honestly say that playing football is all I have ever wanted to do," he said.
"To have had such a long and successful career at Manchester United has been a real honour.
"To have been part of the team that helped the club reach a record 19th title is a great privilege."
Scholes paid tribute to Alex Ferguson, calling him a "great manager".
"From the day I joined the club his door has always been open and I know this team will go on to win many more trophies under his leadership," he said.
His role within the United coaching set-up has still to be outlined, although there could be an opening available with the reserves, where Warren Joyce has been acting alone since the departure of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Scholes will be granted a testimonial match in August.
"What more can I say about Paul Scholes that I haven't said before," said Ferguson.
"We are going to miss a truly unbelievable player.
"Paul has always been fully committed to this club and I am delighted he will be joining the coaching staff from next season.
"Paul has always been inspirational to players of all ages and we know that will continue in his new role."
Scholes was part of United's "Class of 92", from which David Beckham, Nicky Butt and Gary Neville also emerged. Neville also ended his United career this season.
Scholes won 66 England caps and played at the 1998 and 2002 World Cups, but retired from international football in a shock announcement in 2004 at the age of 29.
England coach Fabio Capello tried in vain to persuade him to return for last year's World Cup.
Factfile on Paul Scholes after the Manchester United and England midfielder announced his retirement on Tuesday:
Birthdate: November 16, 1974
Birthplace: Salford, near Manchester, England
1991: Signs as a trainee with Manchester United.
1992: Member of the 'Class of 92' that wins FA Youth Cup.
1993: Signs professional forms with United.
1994: Makes Premier League debut against Ipswich.
1995-96: Scores 10 goals in 26 league appearances as United win the Premier League and FA Cup double.
1997: Makes England debut as a substitute against South Africa at Old Trafford.
1997: Scores opening goal in World Cup qualifier as England beat Moldova 4-0.
1998: Scores second goal as England beat Tunisia 2-0 in their World Cup opener in France.
1999: Scores hat-trick in England's 3-1 win against Poland in Euro 2000 qualifier at Wembley.
1999: United complete treble of Premier League, FA Cup and European Cup but Scholes suspended from Champions League final win over Bayern Munich.
1999: Sent off in 0-0 draw against Sweden in Euro 2000 qualifier at Wembley.
2002: Member of England squad that reaches World Cup quarter-finals.
2002-03: Scores a career-best 14 league goals in a season as United win their eighth Premier League title.
2004: After England's Euro 2004 exit announces international retirement.
2008: Helps United win Champions League final in Moscow where they beat English rivals Chelsea in a penalty shoot-out.
2009: Wins another Premier League title but on losing side as United beaten 2-0 by Barcelona in Champions League final in Rome.
2010: Rejects approach from England manager Fabio Capello to return to international football ahead of the World Cup.
2011: Sent-off at Wembley as United lose 1-0 to Manchester City in FA Cup semi-final.
2011: Helps United win record 19th English title.
2011: Member of the side beaten 3-1 by Barcelona in Champions League final at Wembley and, three days later, on May 31, announces retirement from football.