The decision of American football legend Tom Brady to retire following the finale of 2021/22 season of the NFL, fans and experts were shocked as the athlete is still at the climax of his career.
The season may have ended in a disappointing fashion but still the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were still the best team at the Super Bowl. Now, forty days after he announced his retirement, he said that he will return to play for the 2022/23 season.
Like Brady, these five major athletes decided to quit but ended up coming back anyway because they love the game.
We couldn’t discuss the greatest comebacks without mentioning the greatest of all time, Michael Jordan. During the start of the 1993-94 season of the NBA, Jordan shocked the fans when he announced that he will be retiring from basketball to begin a career in baseball after his father’s murder.
Although, he declared his return in March 1995 for the Chicago Bulls, saying only two words to the press with “I’m back.” In 1999, he retired again but this time as a co-proprietor and head of Basketball Operations for the Washington Wizards. He then returned as a player for the Wizards in 2001.
Jordan finally retired for good in 2003 in his final game against Philadelphia 76ers, ending a playing career of 19 years.
Tennis player Justine Henin decided to retire from tennis at the age of 25. The Belgian athlete is highly considered as the best female tennis player on the planet.
When she talked about her notion to retire, she said that she has no regrets as she realized that she has spent her 20 years playing and she wanted to pursue her humanitarian efforts and building her tennis school. However, after 18 months, she returned to playing but in 2011, she was forced to quit for good because of an injury.
Brett Favre played for the Green Bay Packers for 16 seasons, he quit in March 2008. He bid an emotional farewell during his announcement and fans were disappointed. However, Favre shocked the supporters when he announced that he will be returning in July that year.
Favre discovered at age 39 that he had an injury in one of his biceps, although no surgery was needed, he decided to retire for the second time. He then called off his retirement the next season.
In English soccer, there is no more memorable comeback to sport action than Manchester United’s Paul Scholes return to the Premier League.
Following his decision to quit football in May 2011 after a long stellar career, the Man United midfielder took back his decision when he felt refreshed following a four-month break from the sport.
Scholes, when explaining about his retirement decision, said “After four months, I have not been in my best shape than I am now. I just think that all I ever needed was a break and I finally got it.”
If there is anyone who is retiring more often and then deciding to come back, it is Connor McGregor.
The mixed martial artist first announced his retirement in 2016 when he refused to travel to the United States because of Nate Diaz, but he eventually came back 46 days later.
The second one was in 2019 due to an altercation with Khabib Nurmagomedov, however, he returned nine days later. The third one was in June 2020 but then again he decided to return in January of 2021 to fight Dustin Poirier.
These athletes were a living testimony that if you really love the sport, no matter how you quit, you will always come back.
Stories like these are a good source of inspiration. For more interesting sports pieces and latest Singapore news, head to The Straits Times.