How Tom Brady compares to Lionel Messi & Cristiano Ronaldo

James Cormack
Tom Brady lifted his seventh Lombardi trophy with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2021
Tom Brady lifted his seventh Lombardi trophy with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2021 / Mike Ehrmann/GettyImages

It's a sombre day in the world of American football. For the second consecutive year, Thomas Edward Patrick Brady, Jr (as you might've heard Skip Bayless say over the years) has announced his retirement; this time "for good".

Brady, a sixth-round draft pick in 2000, defied all the odds to embark on the most prosperous of careers that has seen him thrust into the pantheon of all-time sporting greats.

He remained an elite quarterback right up until his retirement, and there's no doubt the 45-year-old could've continued to play at an extremely high level had he opted to stick around for another year or two.

Brady has conquered all before him in the NFL, as he retires as the most winningest quarterback in the sport's history. No player has enjoyed, or will likely ever enjoy, the success Brady has had, and he's rightfully regarded by pretty much everybody as the greatest to ever do it.

Here's how his achievements stacks up against two of football's GOATs, namely Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

How Tom Brady's achievements compare to Lionel Messi & Cristiano Ronaldo

It's incredibly difficult to compare what are two completely different entities. The NFL's crowning glory, the Super Bowl, is perhaps most similar to winning the Champions League, and, on an individual level, being named the NFL MVP is somewhat comparable to lifting the Ballon d'Or.

Brady has seven Super Bowl rings, the most of any player in NFL history. Lionel Messi, meanwhile, has four Champions League crowns, but he did win the World Cup with Argentina in 2022 - an achievement that usurps Brady's rings.

Ronaldo has enjoyed more Champions League success compared to his great contemporary rival, winning the competition five times. The Portuguese superstar also helped his country to success at Euro 2016.

Despite his stellar longevity, Brady was only named league MVP on three occasions. However, he typically saved his best - and most clutch - form for the post-season. Thus, he was named Super Bowl MVP (we'll compare it to being Man of the Match in the Champions League final) five times as he produced some unforgettable performances when it mattered most.

Nevertheless, some would argue that Messi and Ronaldo each trump Brady when it comes to individual achievements. The two football icons have combined for 12 Ballon d'Or awards and Messi is a sure bet to add an eighth to his haul in 2023.

Tom Brady's net worth compared to Lionel Messi & Cristiano Ronaldo's

These dudes are rich, let me tell you that.

Brady, who was married to supermodel Gisele Bündchen for 13 years, accumulated quite the fortune during his playing career. According to MarketWatch, Brady earned as much as $332m while operating as the quarterback of the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, as well as $180m in endorsements.

Thus, some estimate Brady's net worth to be in excess of $500m. He also signed a 10-year contract with Fox Sports worth $375m to work as an analyst once he was done playing.

Ronaldo's net worth is estimated to be similar to Brady's at $500m, but his lucrative contract in Saudi Arabia with Al Nassr is poised to bolster that figure. Messi, meanwhile, is said to be worth upwards of $600m.

What football team does Tom Brady support?

Brady has shown his support to a few football teams over the years, though his strongest affinity appears to be for Manchester United.

Brady was spotted meeting then United forward Cristiano Ronaldo at Old Trafford back in March 2022 before their clash with Tottenham.

Spurs striker Harry Kane is an NFL fan and has been snapped with Brady in the past. United ended up winning that game as Ronaldo scored a hat trick, while Kane scored from the penalty spot. As a pre-match tweet alludes to, the game panned out pretty well for Brady.