NFL superstar Tom Brady said he will return to the field with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers just two months after announcing his retirement.
The record-breaking American football quarterback announced in February that he would step down from play after 22 seasons and seven Super Bowl titles.
Yet on Sunday, he tweeted: “These past two months I’ve realised my place is still on the field and not in the stands. 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. Let’s f***ing go.”
Previously, Mr Brady had said he believed American football was an “all-in proposition” which required “100 per cent competitive commitment”, concluding: “My teammates, coaches, fellow competitors, and fans deserve 100 per cent of me.”
At 44 years of age, Mr Brady was and remains the oldest active player in the NFL, and is one of the top ten oldest quarterbacks in NFL history.
However, he had already hinted that he might return, telling American sportscaster Jim Gray that he would “never say never”. His team said it would “leave the light on” for him.
Hours before Mr Brady’s tweet, video emerged of a meeting with Portuguese association footballer Cristiano Ronaldo at a Manchester United game on Saturday, in which Mr Brady appeared to dodge answering Mr Ronaldo’s question: “You’re finished, right?”
As well winning seven Super Bowls, Mr Brady is the all-time leader in touchdown passes and passing yards – a record he broke in October against his former team.
He made his professional debut in 200 after playing college football in Michigan, famously being picked 199th out of 254 players in that year’s NFL draft.