Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore said retiring Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson's "drive, ambition, skill, passion and vision" have forever altered the landscape of football.
"The Premier League has had the privilege to witness many great players, managers and teams. No one has made as great a contribution to the Premier League than Sir Alex Ferguson," said Scudamore.
"His drive, ambition, skill, passion and vision have not only shaped Manchester United, but in many ways the game of football as we now know it. Sir Alex and his teams during the Premier League era have set the pace others have had to follow; 13 titles out of 21 seasons is a phenomenal achievement."
He added: "What always stood out though was the reaction to missing out, personified in this season's campaign. His ability to adapt as the game progressed, developing players from within Manchester United's youth set-up and integrating them with some of the world's finest talent created many formidable teams playing some wonderful football.
"He is universally respected by his peers right across the world game and I am sure that even fans of rival clubs will appreciate how remarkable his many achievements have been.
"It was always unrealistic to expect Sir Alex to keep going forever, but he has built something substantial and lasting at Manchester United and his values will continue to resonate throughout the club for many years to come. That will be his permanent legacy to English football.
"Whatever the Premier League has become, Manchester United is its standard bearer and Sir Alex their talisman. Whatever the future holds, one thing is for certain, it will not be the same without him."
Meanwhile, Cristiano Ronaldo reacted to the news by tweeting a picture of himself and Ferguson on the day he joined Manchester United, adding: "Thanks for everything, Boss".
The League Managers Association (LMA) added its congratulations, and chairman Howard Wilkinson said: "Today's news draws to a close the career of a man and a manager, the likes of which we will never see again.
"His public face was always that of the ultimate professional with a fierce pride and determination to do the very best for his club. His frighteningly competitive nature has never nor ever will be equalled. He is the epitome of the mantra 'Survive, Win, Succeed'."