Tom Brady will play his ninth Super Bowl on Sunday — and it's unlikely to be his last

By Helen Murphy
February 03, 2019 11:59 AM
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Tom Brady will play his ninth Super Bowl on Sunday — and it’s unlikely to be his last.

Brady’s wife, Gisele Bündchen, has spoken frequently over the past year about her husband’s career and whether or not he wants to retire soon.

Most recently, in December 2018, Bündchen, 38, stopped by The Ellen DeGeneres Show where DeGeneres asked if Brady, 41, had plans to leave the NFL behind. “I’m a [New Orleans] Saints fan and that would help me tremendously,” teased DeGeneres.

Bündchen responded, “I think you should talk with him about that. I haven’t been very successful. I want him to do whatever makes him happy, but maybe if you have a conversation with him — explain that you love the Saints.”

The star went on to say that she wouldn’t “want to have his job” because of the physical toll it takes, but at the end of the day, while “it’s definitely something that you get concerned [about] … he loves it so much, and you got to let him do what he loves.”

In March of last year, Bündchen told WSJ Magazine‘s April issue that she hasn’t influenced whether Brady should retire. “It’s his decision, and he knows it,” she said. “It wouldn’t be fair any other way.”

Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen
| Credit: Gisele Bundchen/Instagram

“He’s so focused right now,” she added at the time. “He has a laser focus on just winning and being the best, and I said, ‘You know what? This is what you’re doing right now in your life, and you need to feel complete in it,” she said, adding that he might resent it if he made a decision whether or not to continue on based on something she said.

She continued: “I want him to be happy. Believe me, I’ve been with him when he’s losing. Try to be with him after you have lost [Super Bowls]. I mean, I had my fair share, okay? As long as he’s happy, he’s going to be a better father, he’s going to be a better husband, and I just want him to be happy. I do have my concerns, like anyone would.”

The couple shares two children together, 9-year-old son Benjamin and 6-year-old daughter Vivian Lake. Brady is also a father to 11-year-old son John Edward Thomas Moynahan from a previous relationship with actress Bridget Moynahan.

A source told PEOPLE the month before, though, that Bündchen is ready for her husband to retire.

According to the source, Bündchen has “been telling friends for a couple years now that she would like him to retire and just be able to be at home, but he is so committed to the game.”

The source also revealed that “after the big surprise win” when the Patriots defeated the Atlanta Falcons in the 2017 Super Bowl, Bündchen “was hopeful that he might want to go out on top, but he still wants to play.”

However a different source close to the couple told PEOPLE at the time, “Gisele always supports Tom no matter what.”

In May 2018, Brady acknowledged that he wanted to spend more time with his children.

“My kids are 10, 8 and 5. They’re not getting younger, so I need to take time so I can be available to them, too,” Brady said, according to ESPN. “I’ve really spent the last two or three months doing those things, and I think I’m really trying to fill my tank up so that when I do go back, I can go back and I think I’ll actually be, in my mind, a better player, a better teammate, because I’ll be really rejuvenated.”

“Part of this offseason for me is certainly about still preparing for what’s ahead in my next journey, my next mountain to climb with this group of teammates,” Brady added. “But it’s also [acknowledging] that a lot of people are getting the short end of the stick in my life — certainly my wife and my kids.”

Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen
| Credit: Neilson Barnard/Getty

Brady told PEOPLE in March 2018 that he wants to keep playing as long as possible.

“I love playing and I want to keep going ’cause I think there’s more to achieve and I still think I can play at a really high level,” the quarterback said. “As long as I’m willing to make the commitment, my family gets the time they need, [then] hopefully I can keep playing the game I love.”

He added that Bündchen is “supportive” and “wants me to be happy.”

“At the end of the day, she’s been such a supportive wife, and been so supportive of my career,” Brady told PEOPLE. “I think she wants me to continue to do what I love and continue taking care of myself and, you know, make sure I’m still really present for my kids when they need me and still available to everyone in the family because our kids aren’t getting any younger.”

During an interview with ESPN on Sunday, Brady said there was a “zero” percent chance he will retire after the 2019 Super Bowl.

“I’ve said that for a long time,” he told the outlet. “I feel like I’m asked that a lot, and I feel like I repeat the same answer. But no one believes me.”

“I’ve set a goal for myself at 45,” he continued. “Like I’ve said before, it’s very hard to make it that far. I know how hard it was this year and the commitment it takes, and hopefully, I’ve learned from some of the things that happened this year to be better next year. But every year is tough.”

Brady says he’ll know when the time is right to walk away.

“I’m gonna feel like, ‘Okay, I’ve had enough,’ ” he told the outlet. “I don’t quite feel like that yet.”

The New England Patriots will play the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII, which will air on Feb. 3.