https://www.dw.com-The legendary quarterback won a total of seven Super Bowls, more than any other player in the history of the sport. Brady made the announcement in a social media post he admitted was “difficult to write.”
The 44-year-old athlete led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a Super Bowl title last year
Tom Brady, widely regarded as the best quarterback in NFL history, confirmed his retirement from American football on Tuesday.
Speculation had been rife over the 44-year-old’s future in recent days after reports emerged that he planned to retire after 22 seasons at the top of the game.
Neither Brady’s agent nor his current team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, were able to confirm the veracity of the reports.
More Super Bowls than any player in history
However, in a social media message posted on Tuesday, the quarterback with a record seven Super Bowl rings confirmed he would be saying goodbye to the sport.
“I have always believed the sport of football is an all-in proposition,” Brady began. “If a 100% competitive commitment isn’t there, you won’t succeed, and success is what I love so much about our game. There is a physical, mental, and emotional challenge EVERY single day that has allowed me to maximize my highest potential. And I have tried my very best these past 22 years. There are no shortcuts to success on the field or in life.”
“This is difficult for me to write, but here it goes: I am not going to make that competitive commitment anymore. I have loved my NFL career and now it is time to focus my time and energy on other things that require my attention.”
Thanks teammates, coaches, Glazer family
Brady expressed his gratitude to teammates and coaches, both past and present. He told his current Tampa Bay teammates he loved them in a social media post that included personal thank yous to Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht, head coach Bruce Arians, trainer Alex Guerrero, and agents Don Yee and Steve Dubin.
He also said a special thank you to his parents and wife, Gisele.
The legendary quarterback also thanked the owners of the Buccaneers, the Glazer family, who also own the English soccer club Manchester United.
“To the Glazer family, thank you for taking a chance on me and supporting me,” Brady said. “I know I was demanding at times, but you provided everything we needed to win, and your ownership was everything a player could ask for.”
Brady previously played for the New England Patriots where he and head coach own the record for Super Bowl appearances (nine) as a player and coach combination. Brady won the Super Bowl six times with the Patriots before claiming another Lombardi Trophy in 2021, at the end of his first of two seasons with the Buccaneers.
‘A thrilling ride’
“My playing career has been such a thrilling ride, beyond my imagination, and full of ups and downs. When you’re in it every day, you really don’t think about any kind of ending. As I sit here now, however, I think of all the great players and coaches I was privileged to pay with and against. The competition was fierce and deep, just how we like it. But the friendships and relationships are just as fierce and just as deep. I will remember and cherish these memories and visit them often. I feel like the luckiest person in the world.”
Brady said “the future is exciting” and pointed to personal and business ventures that are on the horizon. His said his primary focus, though, would be his family.
jsi/nm (Reuters, AFP, AP, dpa)