Fans are convinced Cristiano Ronaldo played a part in Tom Brady’s decision to come out of retirement.
On Saturday — just one day before the Buccaneers quarterback announced he’ll return to Tampa for a 23rd NFL season – Ronaldo chatted with Brady about his future after the soccer star, 37, helped lead Manchester United to a 3-2 victory over Tottenham at Old Trafford in the UK.
“You’re finished [playing] right?” Ronaldo asked Brady, 44, on the pitch.
It’s unclear what Brady said as his response is inaudible in viral videos of the meeting. Brady’s grin, however, had Bucs fans on social media buzzing.
When the quarterback announced his plans to return to Tampa on Sunday evening, one fan tweeted that his decision was fueled by the “Cristiano effect.” Meanwhile, others opined that Brady was so inspired by Ronaldo scoring a hat trick in Manchester United’s win over Tottenham that he decided to come out of retirement.
Football fans continued to speculate about the meeting on Twitter, with another person tweeting, “Give thanks to @Cristiano for this! Brady went to see him and at 37 Ronaldo scored a hat trick. After he and Brady talked and I’m sure he convinced him to come back.”
Brady and Ronaldo posed for photos together and later took to social media to praise one other over dominating their sport.
The seven-time Super Bowl champ called Ronaldo a “legend” on his Instagram Story, while the Portuguese forward wrote of Brady on his own page, “There are no limits for Man.
“Always a pleasure and a privilege to share some thoughts and ideas with another GOAT…👏🏽👊🏽,” Ronaldo captioned another photo with Brady.
The Glazer brothers, who own the Buccaneers, also have ownership in Manchester United. Brady personally thanked the Glazer family in his initial retirement statement back in February.