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10 Fun Facts About Liberia’s President-elect George Weah

The world of football is cerebrating with former player turned politician, George Weah after being announced as the President-elect of Liberia.

With 98.1% of the ballots counted, the National Elections Commission announced Weah had won with 61.5% of the vote. Pending his swearing in, Weah will be Liberia’s 25th president succeeding President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

In celebration of his victory, here are ten fun facts about Liberia’s next President:

  • George Weah’s life changed when Arsene Wenger spotted him playing football in Cameroon. At the age of 22, Weah was discovered by Cameroon national team Coach Claude Le Roy, who told AS Monaco manager Arsene Wenger about his abilities. Wenger flew to Africa to see the player himself and was impressed by the young forward. He brought him to Europe in 1988 where he signed for Monaco.
  • He is the only African footballer and a first non-European player to win the Ballon d’Or. After spectacular performances with PSG and then AC Milan, his goals were hard to ignore. He was subsequently voted 1995 African, European, and World player of the year.
  • Weah is a generous philanthropist and a true patriot. Even before he hang up his boots, he would often pay, out of his own pocket for the Liberian National team to travel for matches abroad.
  • After retiring, he realized soccer could be a stabilizing force in Liberia and joined the national team as a player-manager. He spent over $ 2 million of his money trying to revitalize the Lone Stars hence leading them on an impressive run through the 2002 World Cup qualifiers.
  • Weah is arguably the best football player to retire without playing at the World Cup. He played 60 games in over 20 years for Liberia and helped them qualify for two African Cup of Nations. However, he was unfortunate not to be eligible for any World Cup.
  • In 2004, Weah was named by Edson Arantes do Nascimento aka Pele in the in the FIFA 100 list of the world’s greatest living players.
  • In addition to winning the African player of the year in 1989 and 1994, he was voted by journalists across the continent as the Best African Player of the 20th
  • Weah was born into Christianity but converted to Islam after falling in love with the Islamic way of life. After ten years of devotion to the Islamic faith, he reverted to Christianity after his grandmother’s death.
  • The president-elect got his university degree at the age of 39 in 2005. In his first run for president, Weah’s critics focused on his lack of a college degree as for why he was unfit for office. He didn’t let that hurt his ego, and instead, it motivated him to enroll at Devry University in Florida where he graduated with a degree in Business Management.
  • Finally, Weah is the first retired professional footballer to win a presidential seat in a country. Many have tried standing for political positions, but none had dared to contest for the head of state.


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