The only African Ballon d’Or winner of the football history has proven that it is not impossible to star both as a football player and a politician.
There have been numerous great players in the football history, coming from all over the world. But there are not so many players who have demonstrated capabilities both in football and a different field out of the pitch. If you are a football fan with no significant knowledge about politics, this article would help you. In this article we review some important facts about George Weah, who has won the Ballon d’Or award during his playing career and currently is the President of his country, Liberia.
Now we are going to take a look at interesting facts about George Weah.
Commonly known as George Weah, George Manneh Oppong Weah was born on 1 October 1966 in Clara Town, Monrovia, Liberia. He is a member of the Kru ethnic group, which hail from south-eastern Liberia's Grand Kru County, one of the poorest areas of the country. He is son of William T. Weah, Sr. and Anna Quayeweah who relatively were a mechanic and a seller. George has three brothers, named William, Moses and Wolo.
George Weah childhood
spent, being raised by his devoutly Christian paternal grandmother, Emma Klonjlaleh Brown as well as twelve other children. His parents’ separation when George was still a baby, resulted in his living alongside grandmother.
George attended middle school at Muslim Congress and high school at Wells Hairston High School, and reportedly dropped out in his final year of studies.
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After understanding about George Weah childhood and his family, now it is time to look at George Weah career.
Now it is time to review
facts about George Weah
and his career across the world. He began to play football at the age of 15 and his youth career’s first club was Young Survivors. Later, George Weah moved to some other local football clubs and played key roles in Mighty Barrolle and Invicible Eleven. Before moving abroad as his football career’s next chapter, Weah worked for the Liberia Telecommunications Corporation as a switchboard technician.
Winning two consecutive Premier League titles and a single Cup title in his own country with Mighty Barrolle and Invicible Eleven, George Weah left Liberia to Cameroon. He resumed to star at Cameroonian club Tonnerre Yaoundé, scored 14 goals in his 18 league appearances. Following his shiny performance, the Cameroon national team head coach, Claude Le Roy, provided a fantastic change in George Weah career.
Informing Arsene Wenger of the Liberian’s talents, Claude Le Roy convinced Wenger to personally fly to Africa and evaluate the skills of George Weah. So Arsene Wenger, that time’sAS Monaco
manager, got impressed by the youngster and signed the 22-year old George Weah for just 12,000 Pounds. This was the beginning of the Next chapter of George Weah career in Europe. There was nothing able to shock the African star in his first European club and Weah kept on scoring goals and helping his team succeed in France.
During his spell with Monaco, Weah won the African Footballer of the Year for the first time in 1989; this was his first major award and he took it back home for the entire country to celebrate. Weah also won the Coupe de France in 1991, and he led Monaco to reach the final match of the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1992, scoring four goals in nine cup appearances.
Weah scored 66 times during his 149 appearances for Monaco in all competitions. His performance and stats, especially in the fourth season with Monaco, persuaded the other French giants to sign him.
George Weah in 1992 signed forParis Saint-Germain
, with whom he won four domestic titles including the 1994 French league, 1993 and 1995 Coupe de France, and the 1995 Coupe de la Ligue.
While playing in Paris Saint-Germain, George Weah managed to reach the semi-finals of the 1992–93 UEFA Cup, and the semi-finals of the 1993–94 European Cup Winners' Cup; in total, he scored 16 goals in 25 European games. In 1994, Weah won the African Footballer of the Year Award for the second time in his career.
During his successful period in Paris, Weah led PSG to the UEFA Champions League semi-finals in 1994-95 edition through his efforts. He scored seven goals in that UCL season, which made him the top scorer of the tournament. His name stands alongside Rabah Madjer, as the only African players to become the UEFA Champions League top scorers.
Since 1995, George Weah career resumed in Italy. He joinedA.C. Milan
and not only immediately won the Italian league in 1996 under Fabio Capello, but also finished the season as the club’s top goal scorer. In Milan, he formed a devastating attacking trio alongside Roberto Baggio and Dejan Savićević.
During his time with the club, Weah won the Serie A title once again in 1999 and reached the 1998 Coppa Italia final, and finished as runner-up in the Supercoppa Italiana in 1996 and 1999.
on 11 January 2000, Weah signed forChelsea
on loan from Milan until the end of the 1999–2000 English season. At Chelsea, Weah instantly became popular to the fans by scoring against rivals Tottenham Hotspur on his debut and. He also scored two crucial goals against Leicester City and Gillingham in Chelsea's victorious 1999–2000 FA Cup.
Chelsea did not make Weah's move permanent, and, on 1 August 2000, he officially left Milan, and signed for newly promoted English Premier League sideManchester City
on a free transfer on a two-year contract worth £30,000 a week, declining the offer of a £1 million pay-off from Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi. He played 11 games in all competitions for City, just three of them as a starting line-up member.
Following his time in England, Weah returned to France and had a spell at Marseille until May 2001. He later played for Al-Jazira in the UAE Pro-League, where he remained until his retirement as a player in 2003, at age 37. At his last club, Al-jazira, Weah played on a temporary basis.
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Since making his debut for the Liberia national team against Sierra Leone in 1986, Weah played 75 games over 20 years, scoring 18 goals. Weah did much to support the national squad: aside from being the team's star player, he also later coached the squad and even funded his national side to a large extent. Despite his efforts, Liberia did not qualify for a single FIFA World Cup. However, he did help Liberia to qualify for the African Cup of Nations on two occasions: Weah represented his country in the 1996 and 2002 editions of the tournament, although Liberia suffered group stage elimination both times.
One of the interesting
facts about George Weah
is that he returned to the national team for his final international appearance, a specially arranged friendly against Nigeria on 11 September 2018. At the age of 51 and as the country's president, Weah played his last match in the number 14 shirt, which was retired after the friendly.
One of George Weah goals in the 1994-95 UEFA Champions League was a skilful individual "wonder-goal" againstBayern Munich
in the group stage, as he dribbled past two defenders and sent the ball to the up corner of the net.
Furthermore, Weah became famous at Milan for scoring several notable goals, in particular a solo goal againstHellas Verona
at the San Siro which saw him deftly control the ball from Verona's corner kick just outside his own penalty area, before he set off. With all his teammates back defending the corner Weah made a beeline for goal, leaving his own teammates in his wake. Weah finished by rifling the ball into the bottom left corner before an exuberant goal celebration.
The facts about George Weah are not limited to just being a good player. 1995 became a lifelong memorable year for this African star. George Weah did his best in both PSG and Milan shirts and his fabulous performances with these clubs, resulted in some heavy individual achievements which are unreachable for major of football players. He won the Ballon d'Or, the Onze d'Or, and was named FIFA World Player of the Year, becoming the first and, still, only native African player, to win these awards. That year, Weah also won the African Player of the Year Award for the third time in his career, and was named to the Onze de Onze by the French football magazine Onze Mondial.
George Weah Ballon d’Or
did not repeat and he finished second in the FIFA World Player of the Year ranking. He was also voted the African Player of the Century by sport journalists from around the world.
One of the most shocking
facts about George Weah
is about his strange controversy as a player. During his period in Milan, Weah was banned from six European matches for breaking the nose of the Portuguese defender Jorge Costa in the players' tunnel after Milan's draw at Porto in the Champions League. Weah said he exploded in frustration after putting up with racist tauntings from Costa during both of the teams' Champions League matches that autumn. However, Costa was not charged by UEFA as no witnesses could verify Weah's claim, not even his teammates. The incident led to Costa undergoing facial surgery and he was subsequently sidelined for three weeks. Despite the incident, Weah still received the FIFA Fair Play Award in 1996.
Weah later attempted to apologise to Costa but this was rejected by the Portuguese, who finally took Weah to court.
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As mentioned above, Arsene Wenger was the man who gave George Weah the chance of playing and starring in Europe. Weah since dedicated his FIFA World Player of the Year victory to Arsène Wenger, as the main reason of his development into a world class player. Moreover, after being elected the Liberia President, Weah invited Wenger to participate in his inauguration.
Football was the start, but not the end of facts about George Weah. Let's go and see what he has done as a politician.
Following the end of the Second Liberian Civil War, Weah announced his intention to run for President of Liberia in the 2005 elections, forming the Congress for Democratic Change to back his candidacy. Although Weah was a popular figure in Liberia, his main problem in this way was his lack of formal education, through which the opponents believed that Weah was not able to lead the country.
His competitor was Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a Harvard-educated candidate. Sirleaf had served as minister of finance in the 1970s and had held positions at Citibank, the World Bank and the United Nations. Despite some complaints on Weah's eligibility to run for Presidency because of French citizenship, Weah was allowed to proceed his campaign.
Weah obtained 28.3% of the vote. This qualified him to compete in a run-off election against Sirleaf, the second placed candidate. However, he lost the run-off election, garnering only 40.6% to 59.4% for Sirleaf.
Weah also remained active in Liberian politics, returning from the United States in 2009 to successfully campaign for the Congress for Democratic Change candidate in the Montserrado County senatorial by-election. Weah later announced his intention to challenge Sirleaf in the 2011 election. The Congress for Democratic Change chose Weah as its 2011 vice presidential candidate, running with presidential candidate Winston Tubman but the result was similar to previous efforts: Failure.
In 2014, he ran for election to the Senate as a Congress for Democratic Change candidate in Montserrado County. He was elected to the Liberian Senate with a great majority. Weah defeated Robert Sirleaf, the son of President Sirleaf. He won an inordinate victory, receiving 99,226 votes, which represented 78.0% of the total votes from the 141 polling centers, while Sirleaf, his closest rival received 13,692 votes, which is nearly 11% in the election.
Here we arrive to the great part of facts about George Weah. In April 2016, Weah announced his intention to run for President of Liberia in the 2017 elections, standing for the Coalition for Democratic Change. After winning the first round of the 2017 election with 38.4% of the vote. In the second round, Weah was elected President of Liberia, winning a run-off against Vice President Joseph Boakai with more than 60% of the vote.
George Weah net worth went up following his retirement from football as he changed way into other businesses and later into politics where he currently serves as the president of his country.
In spite of being president, most of
George Weah net worth
which is estimated $30 million, has come from his prolific football playing career.
George Weah salary
, it is told that he earns $2 million With his current role as president.
Having previously recorded a song against Ebola, George Weah On March 25, 2020 recorded his individually written song about Covid 19 with the local group The Rabbi's. He invites the Liberian and African population to stand up by all means against this virus which is causing damage around the world. The George Weah song perhaps is the most interesting reaction from presidents all over the world.
Like many otherwise and great people, George Weah has influenced many lives, with his quotes. Here we have collected a number of
George Weah quotes
On protests about his lack of education
"With all their education and experience, they have governed this nation for hundreds of years. They have never done anything for the nation."
On election failure to his fans
"I can see in your eyes, I can see in your faces, I can see you cry. But what I want to say, there's no reason to cry. Do not, in the name of peace, go in the streets and riot."
On Arsene Wenger role in his development:
"besides God, I think that without Arsène, there was no way I would have made it in Europe".
After receiving the Arthur Ashe Courage Award
"I do believe that together we can help the children of the world, including those in my home country of Liberia.”
George Weah wife
is a businesswoman, philanthropist, and advocate. George Weah met his wife for the first time in eatly 90s, in Chase Manhattan Bank in New York. At that time George was a football player in French League and Clar was serving as a customer service representative. They married in 1993 and have three children, named Martha, George Jr, and Timothy. Among
George Weah children
, two boys are international football players.
That’s all on our article of facts about George Weah. Do you know any other interesting facts about the legendary player and current politician? Let us know in the comment section below.