Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady

How Tom Brady influenced Cristiano Ronaldo's return to Manchester United

Tom Brady is inarguably the greatest player in NFL history, but his impact goes beyond the gridiron.

Superstar athletes like seven-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton and two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry are in awe of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback. They have even spoken about their admiration for Brady's longevity, desire to win, and unmatched success.

Brady's influence took center stage yet again this past weekend, as he unknowingly played a big part in soccer megastar Cristiano Ronaldo's transfer to Manchester United from Juventus.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner is rejoining the club 12 years after leaving them to join Spanish giants Real Madrid. But how did Brady play a part in this transfer?

Ronaldo's agent used Brady's example to convince the Glazers

Ronaldo's agent Jorge Mendes had been working overtime over the past week to help his biggest client leave Italian side Juventus and join another European superclub.


Mendes offered Ronaldo's services to his former side Real Madrid and French giants Paris Saint-Germain, but neither showed much interest in acquiring his client.

However, one team that was intrigued by the possibility of signing Ronaldo was Manchester City, United's bitter crosstown rivals.

Sportskeeda's transfer expert Fabrizio Romano reported that City had a verbal agreement with Mendes to sign Ronaldo, but the prospect of the club legend and one of the best players in the world joining their bitter rivals did not sit well with United manager Ole Gunnar Solksjaer.

He phoned United's vice president Ed Woodward and asked if it was financially feasible to facilitate Ronaldo's return to the club. Woodward connected with the Glazer family, who, in addition to being the Buccaneers owners, are also majority shareholders of Manchester United, to study the proposition of a seismic transfer.


The Glazer family were reportedly apprehensive about signing the 36-year-old forward, who is no longer in his prime. That's when Mendes reminded the Glazers about their pursuit of 43-year-old Tom Brady last year.

Like Ronaldo, Brady is not at the peak of his powers but still one of the best at his job. The quarterback joined the Buccaneers after spending 20 years with the New England Patriots and won the Super Bowl in his first season with his new team.

Mendes explained to the Glazers that, like Brady, Ronaldo is a serial winner who could elevate the team to the next level. The Portuguese superstar could be the catalyst to end United's eight-year quest for a Premier League crown and a 13-year wait for the UEFA Champions League title just as Brady ended the Buccaneers' 18-year wait for a Super Bowl victory.

Mendes' reasoning got through to the Glazer family and they quickly sanctioned a move to sign Ronaldo, who gladly agreed to rejoin the club.

Is Ronaldo as influential and successful as Brady?


Ronaldo and Brady are alike in their longevity and never-ending quest for greatness.

At the end of last season, 36-year-old Ronaldo won the Capocannoniere, the award for top goalscorer in Serie A, before winning the golden boot at Euro 2020 while representing his native Portugal.

Ronaldo has been a serial winner throughout his career and has won at least one trophy every year since 2010 and has 32 in all.

Meanwhile, Brady, the winningest quarterback in NFL history, has played and won more Super Bowls than any other player or team in league history. Since turning 37, Brady has played in five Super Bowls, winning four. He now features thrice on the list of the top five oldest quarterbacks to start and win a Super Bowl, holding the top two and fourth spot.

Like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before Brady signed for the team during the 2020 offseason, Manchester United has struggled to keep pace with the game's elite teams over the past decade. While they hold the record for most top-flight league championship victories in England with 20, they haven't won it since 2013.

United are desperate to return to the Premier League summit. The Glazer family hopes that Ronaldo can inspire them to the top as Brady did with the Buccaneers.

Edited by
Shivam Damohe
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