Gisele Bündchen Reacts to Husband Tom Brady's NFL Retirement with Touching Tribute: 'What a Ride'
Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images
Gisele Bündchen is speaking out after her husband, Tom Brady, announced his official retirement from the NFL.
The supermodel, 41, issued a statement on Twitter and Instagram Tuesday addressing Brady's retirement.
"What a ride my love!" Bündchen captioned the Twitter post, adding a heart emoji and a tag for her footballer husband, 44.
In the attached statement, written in both English and Portuguese, Bündchen continued, "So many memories! When I met you over 15 years ago, I didn't know the first thing about football. But cheering for you and seeing you do what you love most made me learn about this wonderful game to the point that I seriously believed I knew more than the referees!
"We always had a special champions playlist for every drive on our way to the game," she added. "As a family, we always prayed for you, celebrated and supported you in every game, cheered every win and suffered with every loss.
What a ride my love! ❤️ @TomBrady pic.twitter.com/7MjFmzWjbn
— Gisele Bündchen (@giseleofficial) February 1, 2022
"I'm so proud of you, and of everything you have had to overcome physically and emotionally over the years. I am in awe of your dedication, and of everything you have achieved. You love what you do, and you leave behind a legacy that is a beautiful example for future generations."
She also called her husband "the most dedicated, focused and mentally tough person I have ever met," going on to mention how he "never once complained over the years about all the bruises and aches and pains. You just kept focusing on your goal to go out there and be the best leader there was to all your teammates."
"I know how excited you are about the next chapter of your life. Watching you work so hard in your football career and seeing the dedication you are now putting into all your new endeavors is incredibly inspiring," Bündchen added.
"There is nothing you can't achieve. I have always been here for you, you know that, and I'm as excited as you are for what the future holds!" she concluded, before writing, "Words can't really express how grateful I am to everyone who has been so supportive of my husband and our family for so many years."
Bündchen, who wed Brady in 2009, shares two children with her husband: 12-year-old son Benjamin Rein and 9-year-old daughter Vivian Lake. Brady is also dad to son John "Jack" Edward, 14, with ex Bridget Moynahan.
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Brady's retirement was first reported Saturday, when outlets like The Boston Globe, ESPN and NFL Network Insider all reported that the athlete was retiring.
On Tuesday, the star quarterback confirmed the move himself in a heartfelt and lengthy statement on social media.
Alongside a photo of himself playing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Brady wrote, "I've done a lot of reflecting this 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% of me, but right now, it's best I leave the field of play to the next generation of dedicated and committed athletes."
"This is difficult for me to write, but here it goes: I am not going to make that competitive commitment anymore. I have loved my NFL career, and now it is time to focus my time and energy on other things that require my attention," he continued.
He later added in his message — which thanked his teammates, coaches, and loved ones — "My playing career has been such a thrilling ride, and far beyond my imagination, and full of ups and downs. … I will remember and cherish these memories and re-visit them often. I feel like the luckiest person in the world."
Brady wrote, "The future is exciting" while admitting he doesn't know "exactly what my days will look like," and will "take it day by day" but wants to "enrich other people's lives."
Part of his message specifically was written to his wife and his three children. "You are my inspiration," said Brady. "Our family is my greatest achievement. I always came off the field and home to the most loving and supportive 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."
A source told PEOPLE Saturday that Brady's decision to retire was "very up in the air just a few days ago."
Brady's NFL career began in 2000, when he was chosen by the New England Patriots during the sixth round of that year's NFL Draft. He stuck with the Patriots until 2020, when he left the team for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Brady locked in his seventh and final Super Bowl win with the Buccaneers in 2020, the same year he was named Super Bowl MVP for the fifth time.
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Taylor Hill/WireImage Tom Brady
Brady hinted at his next move after the Buccaneers were eliminated from the playoffs last weekend following a loss against the Los Angeles Rams.
During an episode of his SiriusXM podcast Let's Go! earlier this month, the football star — who previously predicted he would retire at age 45 — said he was in "no rush to figure out what's next."
"I'll know when I know. It's a day after the season," Brady said. "So I think for all of us, you know, we can all decompress a bit. It's been six straight months of football, every day consumed by day in and day out football."
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Still, the quarterback said he plans on prioritizing family time going forward. He added, "I think now it's just some time to spend some time with my family and spend some time with my kids."
Calling Bündchen and his children his "biggest supporters," Brady said his wife "deserves what she needs from me as a husband and my kids deserve what they need from me as a dad."
He continued, "I'm gonna spend some time with them and give them what they need, 'cause they've really been giving me what I need the last six months to do what I love to do.
"I said this a few years ago, it's what relationships are all about. It's not always what I want. It's what we want as a family," he said. "And I'm gonna spend a lot of time with them and figure out in the future what's next."