Did Cristiano Ronaldo inspire NFL legend Tom Brady to reverse his decision to retire?
That’s what fans of the Manchester United and Portugal icon are claiming after the two superstars met on Saturday.
Brady was at Old Trafford to watch 37-year-old Ronaldo score a magnificent hat-trick in a dramatic 3-2 win over Tottenham.
Just over 24 hours later, 44-year-old Brady stunned America and NFL fans around the world by announcing that he’ll be coming back for his 23rd season – just six weeks after announcing his retirement.
The legendary quarterback said at the beginning of February that he was ending his playing career after winning the Super Bowl for a record seventh time.
Tom Brady announces NFL retirement U-turn
But on Sunday evening, Brady said he would be continuing his illustrious career because he has “unfinished business”.
“These past two months I’ve realized my place is still on the field and not in the stands,” he added in a tweet. “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.”
What did Cristiano Ronaldo and Tom Brady speak about?
The previous day, Brady spoke with Ronaldo on the Old Trafford pitch following the five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s hat-trick against Spurs.
“Always a pleasure and a privilege to share some thoughts and ideas with another GOAT,” Ronaldo tweeted.
Footage showed Ronaldo handing his match-worn shirt to Brady’s son, while Man Utd’s No. 7 said to the NFL star: “You’re finished, right?”
Brady’s reaction said it all. We should have known.
Watch the video here:
Cristiano Ronaldo: "You're finished right?"— utdreport (@utdreport) March 13, 2022
Tom Brady: 😬pic.twitter.com/nMoGJe0ptH
Ronaldo knew about Brady before us 👀 pic.twitter.com/8dxeFu5MhN— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) March 13, 2022
Many fans on social media are now crediting Ronaldo for ‘inspiring’ Brady’s decision to continue his career:
Did Cristiano play a role in Brady’s decision to perform a U-turn over his retirement? Who knows, although judging by their conversation it seems the Tampa Bay Buccaneers star may have still been on the fence at the time – or perhaps he wanted to keep his cards close to his chest for a little longer.
In any case, watching Ronaldo produce a Man of the Match performance at the highest level aged 37 certainly would have convinced Brady that he was about to make the right decision.
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