NFL icon Tom Brady confirmed his retirement from the sport on Tuesday, officially bringing the curtain down on a glittering 22-season career.
The 44-year-old Tampa Bay Buccaneers superstar, widely regarded as the greatest quarterback in history, made the announcement in a post on Instagram.
Brady, the winner of a record seven Super Bowls, said he was quitting the sport after deciding he could no longer make the “competitive commitment” to continue.
“I have always believed the sport of football is an ‘all-in’ proposition — if a 100% competitive commitment isn’t there, you won’t succeed, and success is what I love so much about our game” Brady wrote.
“There is a physical, mental and emotional challenge every single day that has allowed me to maximize my highest potential…
“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.”
Brady’s announcement draws a line under three days of feverish speculation that he was preparing to call time on his career.
News of his imminent retirement had been reported by ESPN citing multiple sources close to the player on Saturday.
However, Brady did not comment with other reports saying he had not decided one way or another.
On Monday, the former New England Patriots star had been coy during an appearance on his own podcast, saying he was considering his future on a day-to-day basis.
“I think when the time’s right I’ll be ready to make a decision one way or another, just like I said last week,” he said.