Tom Brady has announced his retirement from NFL in a heartfelt statement released on Tuesday.
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"This is difficult for me to write, but here it goes: I am not going to make that competitive commitment anymore," he began.
"I have loved my NFL career, and now it is time to focus my time and energy on other things that require my attention. I've done a lot of reflecting the past week and have asked myself difficult questions.
"And I am so proud of what we have achieved. My teammates, coaches, fellow competitors, and fans deserve 100 per cent of me, but right now, it's best I leave the field of play to the next generation of dedicated and committed athletes."
VIDEO: Tom Brady's wife Gisele and his children cheer him on
He continued to then pay tribute to his wife and children, thanking them for their support during his career.
The star wrote: "And lastly to my wife, Gisele, and my children, Jack, Benny and Vivi. You are my inspiration. Our family is my greatest achievement. I always came off the field and home to the most loving wife who has done EVERYTHING for our family to allow me to focus on my career. Her selflessness allowed me to reach new heights professionally and I am beyond words what you mean to me and our family."
Tom Brady announced his retirement on Tuesday 1 February
The sporting hero had previously opened up about the ongoing reports over the weekend – which saw tributes rolling in for him – during a discussion on the latest episode of his SiriusXM podcast, Let's Go! With Tom Brady, Larry Fitzgerald and Jim Gray.
Admitting that he found it disappointing, he said: "You know, there were some very important games going on on the weekend and I know how hard those players work on Sunday to prepare for that.
"You know, I was actually a little bit disappointed that that would actually play some part of what’s going on in NFL football which to me is such an amazing sport and it’s a great sport and the focus should be on those great games.
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"You’re right, for me I was trying to enjoy a nice weekend. It didn’t quite turn that way because my phone got really busy. But, you know, that’s just part of being in the situation I’m in.”
On whether or not he had a timeline for his retirement, he added: "I don’t know, I know when the time is right, so like I've always said I’m very blessed to play as long as I have.
Tom Brady won seven Super Bowls in his incredible career
"As things have gone on in the later parts of my career, whether that was five years ago or even this year, you know, there’s a lot of interest in when I'm going to stop playing.
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"And I understand that. It's not that I don't recognize that. It's just when I know I'll know and when I don't know I don't know, and I'm not going to race to some conclusion about that."
The sports star with wife Gisele
One thing's for sure, and that's when the time is right, Tom will be the one to announce it.
"I think I just said I'm going to take it day by day. It really is, I'll take it by the moment and figure out when I feel really confident to allow people to, you know, I understand my decision affects a lot of people's lives. So when that decision comes it will come," he added.
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