Tom Brady and the sports GOATs who came out of retirement

The Buccaneers quarterback joins his name to that of several legends who said goodbye to the sport, before returning to the discipline they once dominated

Saying goodbye is not always the easiest proposal, and when someone dominates a discipline with such breadth as some of the names that we present below, it is understandable that it takes so much work.

With his announcement this Sunday, to the effect that he is returning to the NFL for a 23rd season, Tom Brady links his name to several legends who have said goodbye, only to return to the discipline where his name became legendary, with some mixed results in the returns:

The quarterback of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers said goodbye to NFL after 22 seasons in the league, the first 20 with the New England Patriots. Between the two teams of him, he reached 10 Super Bowlsand won seven of them.

Bradyciting the need to spend more time with his family, announced his retirement from the NFL on February 1, 2022, but just six weeks later, on Sunday March 13, he revealed via social networks that he was returning to the Buccaneers for a 23rd season in the league, arguing that “I’ve realized that my place is on the field and not in the stands.”

Julio Cesar Chavez

The great Mexican champion retired for the first time in 2001, with a victory over Terry Thomas in his 111th professional fight. Two years later, however, he returned to challenge willy wiseagainst whom he had lost in 1999, managing to avenge that defeat.

In a new farewell fight, in 2004, Chavez surpassed Frankie Randall in a third fight against the North American, and he fought twice more in 2005, a victory and a loss, his last fight being a disaster against Grover Wiley in his 115th pro fight, to post an incredible record of 107-6-2.

Johan Cruyff

The Dutch footballer first retired in 1978 after an illustrious career that saw him become an icon of “Total soccer“, glowing with Ajax and Barcelona. However, after a series of bad investments, including a pig farm, Cruyff he was forced to return to the courts.

He chose as his destination San Diego Aztecs of the NASLbeing chosen player of the year in the North American league. Later, he returned to Spain with the I raisedwhere he played in Second division briefly. Cruyff then he came home with Ajax, with whom he won two leagues. However, Ajax he did not renew the star’s contract, and out of spite, he signed with the archrival Feyenoord leading them to the double, before once again announcing his retirement, this time definitively from professional football.

The quarterback of the Green Bay Packers he flirted with the possibility of retiring for years, before making it official — though not final — on March 4, 2008, saying “I know I can play, but I don’t know if I want to.” Just four months later, Favre contacted the packers to explore the possibility of playing again, and asking to be released by the club to play for another franchise, a request that was denied in Green Bay. At the beginning of the same year, Favre was exchanged to New York Jets.

After a campaign with New York, Favre announced in February 2009 that he was retiring, for the second time. The team officially released him at the end of April of the same year. Again, his retirement was short-lived for Favrewho officially signed with the minnesota vikings in August of that year, staying with the club for two seasons, and once reaching the NFC Championship Game. In January 2017, Favre officially handed over his retirement papers to the league, although it was later reported that in 2013 he turned down an offer to return, once again, to the then St.Louis Rams.

In 1993, Michael Jordan retired as three-time reigning champion of the NBA with the chicago bulls, aiming to fulfill his dream of playing baseball professionally, adding that he had lost the desire to play basketball. In February 1994, MJ signed a minor league deal with the Chicago White Soxproperty of Jerry Reinsdorfalso owner of the Bull’s.

In March 1995, Jordan announced his comeback with a memorable two-word press release: “I’m Back!” (“I’m back!”). He led the Bull’s to a new three-time championship, before retiring at the end of the 1998 season, once again at the top of the NBA.

For the second time in his career, Jordan He decided to come out of retirement to return to the staves. This time, it happened in 2001, and with the Washington Wizardsfor whom he played two seasons in which he was unable to replicate the success previously achieved in Chicago.

The Irish mixed martial arts icon announced his retirement in 2019, returning to win on January 18, 2020 at Donald Cerrone at UFC 246, to announce a new retirement in June of the same year.

On January 24, 2021, mcgregor returned to the octagon, succumbing to Dustin Poirier. mcgregor lost again against Poirier on July 10, 2021, after suffering a broken leg in the first round that prevented him from continuing to fight.


Edson Arantes do Nascimento said goodbye to competitive football as a player of Saints of Brazil –club in which he played since 1956– in 1974, although he continued to participate with the club in some infrequent commitments.

With offers from clubs like Real Madrid, Juventusand even America from Mexico, Pele decided to come out of a very brief retirement signing in 1975 for the Cosmos of the NASLwhom he led to the league title in 1977, and retiring permanently in October of that same year.

Michael Schumacher

Michael Schumacher left the Formula 1 after the 2006 season. That year he fought until the last race for his eighth world championship, one that he ultimately lost to Renault and the pilot Fernando Alonso.

But in 2010, Schumacher and Mercedes They announced their union for three campaigns. His definitive retirement was announced at the end of the 2012 competition. His seat was occupied by Lewis Hamilton who in 2014 won his first of six championships with the German house.

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Tom Brady and the sports GOATs who came out of retirement