George Weah

President of Liberia since 2018 / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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George Tawlon Manneh Oppong Ousman Weah (/ˈwə/; born 1 October 1966)[5] is a Liberian politician and former professional footballer who is the incumbent president of Liberia, serving in office since 2018. 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.[6] He is the first African former professional footballer to become a head of state.[7]

Quick facts: George Weah, 25th President of Liberia, Vice ...
George Weah
Weah in 2019
25th President of Liberia
Assumed office
22 January 2018
Vice PresidentJewel Taylor
Preceded byEllen Johnson Sirleaf
Senator from Montserrado County
In office
14 January 2015  22 January 2018
Preceded byJoyce Musu Freeman-Sumo
Succeeded bySaah Joseph[1]
Personal details
George Tawlon Manneh Oppong Ousman Weah[2]

(1966-10-01) 1 October 1966 (age 56)
Monrovia, Liberia
Political partyCongress for Democratic Change
Other political
Coalition for Democratic Change
SpouseClar Weah
Children4, including George Jr. and Timothy
ResidenceExecutive Mansion[3]
EducationDeVry University

Association football career
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)[4]
Position(s) Striker
Youth career
1981–1984 Young Survivors
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1985–1986 Bong Range United 2 (1)
1985–1986 Mighty Barrolle 10 (7)
1986–1987 Invincible Eleven 23 (24)
1987 Africa Sports 2 (1)
1987–1988 Tonnerre Yaoundé 18 (14)
1988–1992 Monaco 103 (47)
1992–1995 Paris Saint-Germain 96 (32)
1995–2000 AC Milan 114 (46)
2000Chelsea (loan) 11 (3)
2000 Manchester City 7 (1)
2000–2001 Marseille 19 (5)
2001–2003 Al Jazira 8 (13)
Total 413 (194)
International career
1986–2003 Liberia 75 (18)
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

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 the Ligue 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.[8] 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.[9]

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 an international friendly in 2018, where his number 14 jersey was retired. Regarded as one of the best players never to have played at the World Cup,[10][11] Scott Murray in The Guardian refers to Weah as "hamstrung by hailing from a global minnow".[12]

Widely regarded as one of the greatest African players of all time, in 1995, 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, 1994 and 1995, he was also named the African Footballer of the Year, 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".[13] In 2004, he was named by Pelé in the FIFA 100 list of the world's greatest living players.[14]

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 Liberian Senate for Montserrado County in the 2014 elections. Weah was elected President of Liberia in the 2017 election, defeating the incumbent vice president Joseph Boakai[15][16] and was sworn in on 22 January 2018.[17]