Wenger invited to George Weah’s inauguration
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger confirmed on Friday he has been invited to George Weah’s inauguration as President of Liberia at the end of January as he described his former player’s life as worthy of a film script.
Weah, who played under Wenger at Monaco between 1988 and 1992, was announced Liberia’s President elect after garnering 61.5% of the vote in December 2017 run off.
His inauguration on January 22 is sandwiched between Arsenal’s Premier League meeting with Crystal Palace on January 20 and the second leg of the EFL Cup semi-final against Chelsea On January 24.
Wenger, however, doesn’t expect to attend the event but joked that he may be able to go if the Football Association ban him for verbally abusing referee Mike Dean following a match against West Bromwich Albion on New Year’s eve.
Wenger’s comments came just hours before the FA duly handed him a three-match touchline ban and a £40,000 fine for his admission of guilty over the incident.
At the same time, the Arsenal manager highly praised his former player saying: “When you look at his life, the life of this guy is a film. It is unbelievable. It is a fantastic film.”
“I saw him in Monaco, looking lost, not knowing anybody, not being rated as a footballer, yet he became in 1995 the best player in the world and now he is President of his country. It is unbelievable.
“He was strong mentally, convinced he has a mission. When he played at Monaco, it was during the time of war in Liberia and I saw how much he suffered with his country.”
Monaco was Weah’s first club in Europe and the striker scored 66 goals for them over four seasons before moving to Paris Saint German.
Then in 1995, while playing for AC Milan, Weah became the first non-European footballer to win the Ballon d’Or. He also won two Serie A titles during his five years at the San Siro. He later had spells in England with Chelsea and Manchester City before retiring in 2003.
Weah entered politics following his retirement and has been serving as a senator in the Liberian parliament.
He previously ran for the presidency back in 2005 but was defeated by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf – Africa’s first elected female president – whom he now succeeds in office.