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NFL icon Brady reverses retirement after Ronaldo chat offers clue

Tom Brady said he has ‘unfinished business’ as he announced his return with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFL icon Tom Brady has announced his return at the age of 44, less than two months after declaring that he was calling time on his glittering career.

The seven-time Super Bowl champion, widely considered to be the greatest ever to play the sport, announced the reversal on social media on Sunday.

“These past two months I’ve realized my place is still on the field and not in the stands,” wrote Brady.

“That time will come. But it’s not now. I love my teammates, and I love my supportive family. They make it all possible. I’m coming back for my 23rd season in Tampa. Unfinished business.”

The U-turn comes after Brady was seen chatting with football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo after watching the Manchester United forward score a hat-trick against Tottenham in the Premier League on Saturday.

After the match, Ronaldo was heard asking Brady, “You’re finished, right?”, to which the American was seen smiling and giving a non-committal response.

Brady was seen at Old Trafford in England on Saturday. © Martin Rickett / PA via AP


Brady will now extend his remarkable longevity on the gridiron and aim to add to his lengthy list of records.

The quarterback led the Bucs to the Super Bowl title two seasons ago and helped the team to the NFC South championship last season, before falling to the Los Angeles Rams in the divisional round of the playoffs.

Tampa Bay general manager Jason Licht said the team had been in discussions with Brady for several days regarding a potential return.

“[Head coach Bruce Arians] and I have had plenty of conversations with Tom recently that led us to believe there was a realistic chance he would want to come back,” Licht said.

“Tom is the greatest quarterback of all time who is still playing at an elite level. With this decision now made, we will continue to move forward with our offseason plans to reload this roster for another championship run.”

© Andy Lewis / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images


Bucs coach Arians said that the fire still burned as brightly as ever for Brady as he welcomed him back.

“Tom Brady loves to play football as much as anyone I have ever been around,” said Arians.

“As Tom said, his place right now is on the football field. He is still playing at a championship level and was as productive as anyone in the league last season.

“We are ecstatic that he decided to continue playing and working toward winning another championship.”

Brady helped the Bucs to the Super Bowl in 2021. © Cliff Welch / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images


Before joining the Bucs, Brady was part of the dominant New England Patriots dynasty which won six Super Bowls in 20 seasons under coach Bill Belichick.

Alongside his record Super Bowl haul, Brady boasts five MVP accolades in NFL’s showpiece game.

He has won three NFL MVP crowns and is a 15-time Pro Bowl star. He also holds the NFL career record in passing yards (84,520) and touchdowns (624). 

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