Beckham announced on Thursday that he will retire from football at the end of the season and has been universally lauded for an illustrious playing career.
Yet Waddle has dismissed talk of the 38-year-old being a "great" and believes the game has seen a lot of more talented players than Beckham.
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"You can go down a list of footballers since the Premier League and I don't think David Beckham would probably be in the first 1,000.
"I think there has been a lot more talented players in the world. But he made the most of what he has got."
The 52-year-old, who won 62 England caps as a wide midfielder, believes Beckham has used his "terrific image" to good effect but was limited to being a hard-working player without any speed or flair.
"He has got a terrific image and used it very well," Waddle continued. "He never had a trick, wasn't particularly quick, but he was very good at set-pieces and deliveries, he made chances and made goals and was fantastic for clubs.
"He said the right things, he sold shirts, he put money in the tills wherever he went and conducted himself well.
"As a player I would say he was a fantastic crosser of the ball, a great athlete. Now people will be talking about him and saying 'how great, how great'. I would say 'how good'.
"I would not say he was a great. He was very good at his job, he worked very hard as a professional footballer."
Do you think Waddle is right? How many Premier League players that are better than Beckham can you name? Leave a comment below or Tweet us using the Hashtag #betterthanbecks