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George Manneh Oppong Weah (born 1 October 1966) is a Liberian politician and former professional footballer who served as the 25th president of Liberia from 2018 to 2024. Prior to his election to the presidency, Weah served as Senator from Montserrado County. He played as a striker in his prolific 18-year professional football career, which ended in 2003. Weah is the first African former professional footballer to become a head of state.
|25th President of Liberia
22 January 2018 – 22 January 2024
|Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
|Senator from Montserrado County
14 January 2015 – 22 January 2018
|Joyce Musu Freeman-Sumo
George Manneh Oppong Weah
(1966-10-01) 1 October 1966 (age 57)
|Congress for Democratic Change
|Coalition for Democratic Change
|4, including George Jr. and Timothy
After beginning his career in his native Liberia, Weah spent 14 years playing for clubs in France, Italy and England. Arsène Wenger first brought him to Europe, signing him for Monaco in 1988. Weah moved to Paris Saint-Germain in 1992 where they won Division 1 in 1994 and became the top scorer of the 1994–95 UEFA Champions League. He signed for AC Milan in 1995 where he spent four successful seasons, winning the Serie A twice. He moved to the Premier League towards the end of his career and had spells at Chelsea and Manchester City, winning the FA Cup at the former, before returning to France to play for Marseille in 2001. He ended his career with Al Jazira in 2003. FourFourTwo named Weah one of the best players never to win the UEFA Champions League.
Weah represented Liberia at the international level, winning 75 caps and scoring 18 goals for his country and playing at the African Cup of Nations on two occasions. He also played in a friendly in 2018, where his number 14 jersey was retired. Regarded as one of the best players never to have played at the FIFA World Cup, Scott Murray in The Guardian refers to Weah as "hamstrung by hailing from a global minnow".
Widely regarded as one of the greatest African players of all time, Weah was named FIFA World Player of the Year and won the Ballon d'Or, becoming the first and only player to win these awards while representing an African country internationally. In 1989 and 1995, he was also named the African Footballer of the Year winning the official award twice, and in 1996, he was named African Player of the Century. Known for his acceleration, speed, and dribbling ability, in addition to his goalscoring and finishing, Weah was described by FIFA as "the precursor of the multi-functional strikers of today". In 2004, he was named by Pelé in the FIFA 100 list of the world's greatest living players.
Weah became involved in politics in Liberia following his retirement from football. He formed the Congress for Democratic Change and ran unsuccessfully for president in the 2005 election, losing to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in the second round of voting. In the 2011 election, he ran unsuccessfully for vice president alongside Winston Tubman. Weah was subsequently elected to the Senate of Liberia for Montserrado County in the 2014 election. Weah was elected President of Liberia in the 2017 election, defeating the incumbent vice president Joseph Boakai, and was sworn in on 22 January 2018. Weah was defeated in a rematch with Boakai in the 2023 election.
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