Comparing Tom Brady to peers in other sports


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Remaining in Europe, Cristiano Ronaldo’s career is also excellent, winning seven league titles with Manchester United, Real Madrid and Italian giant Juventus combined with five Champions League titles, four in Madrid, one with Man U. Ronaldo would be my pick for the best modern equivalent to Brady, albeit still not a watertight comparison. Even playing with elite talent throughout his career, Ronaldo has always been the center of every major European team he has played in, something that took Messi a few years to develop, while Ronaldo did in his native Portugal.

What made the difference for me between the elite talent Ronaldo played with compared to Brady was the early expectations placed on him. Ronaldo was immediately presented with the Manchester United number 7 shirt, a kit that has legendary status at Old Trafford, with David Beckham, George Best and Eric Cantona wearing it for him. His production only skyrocketed in 2006, but he was also rarely invisible in games. A quarterback never hides, and Brady has been the most visible player in the NFL since 2003.

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