Former England captain Gary Lineker said on Twitter: "Strange way to bow out, but @rioferdy5 was a superb player for England, who always rose to the big occasion. Did his country proud."
Another former England striker, Stan Collymore, was less diplomatic.
He tweeted: "United, England fans aren't dummies. They know the score with this situation. Time for some balls and straight forward honesty."
I thought these ex sportsman who have experience with injuries + maintenance would know better than to chat rubbish like they are doing...— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) March 18, 2013