Jack Wilshere has paid tribute to David Beckham and says he is the perfect role model for any young midfielder.

The former England captain announced on Thursday that he will retire at the end of the season after an illustrious 20-year career.

Wilshere - who trained alongside Beckham last summer before he joined Paris Saint-Germain - praised the 38-year-old and admits he has always looked up to him.

“For me, he is the biggest English footballer there has ever been - both on and off the pitch,” he told Arsenal Player.

“Sometimes people forget what he did on the pitch, he was a great player and he showed that for many years. For any young English midfielder, and for me growing up, he was the perfect role model.

“You can just watch him and learn - not just the way he plays but from his attitude as well, his professionalism and his love for the game. That rubs off on everyone.”

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source Rob Kelly 17 May 2013