President George Weah Plays 79 minutes as Nigeria Beats Liberia 2-1

Liberia retires Number 14 shirt in his honour

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Liberia president George Weah made one final appearance for his country against Nigeria on Tuesday night.

The 51-year-old who retired from active football 15 years ago featured for 79 minutes of 2-1 home defeat to the Super Eagles in Monrovia.

The exhibition match was arranged by Liberia to retire the number 14 shirt, worn by Weah at his playing peak.

Weah, who is the first African footballer to win Fifa’s World Player of the Year award showed some fleet-footedness and managed 79 minutes before leaving the field to a standing ovation.

The former AC Milan striker was sworn in as president in January 2018.

A surprisingly strong Nigeria squad found themselves 2-0 up at half-time with Henry Onyekuru and Simeon Nwankwo scoring the goals.

Liberia then pulled one back from Kpah Sherman penalty in the 89th minute, but the result seemed unimportant as Weah wandered back onto the pitch after full-time to suck in the adulation one last time.

All of the Liberia players — including Weah’s former teammate, 48-year-old James Debbah — wore shirts bearing the message “Thank you King George” on the front.

Weah (left) confidently dinks a free-kick into the penalty area during his 79 minutes of action

Although a footballing legend in Liberia and, indeed, Africa, Weah is now the leader of his country after winning 60 per cent of the popular vote in December’s election.

Weah recently inducted his former manager Arsene Wenger into Liberia’s Order of Distinction as a Knight Grand Commander of the Humane Order of African Redemption — the highest honour bestowed by the country — for his services to African football.

Wenger, who left Arsenal last year, spotted Weah’s talent while Monaco manager all of 30 years ago and brought him the principality in 1998.

He would later move to PSG, where he would become the one and only African player to win the Ballon d’Or in 1995.

 

 

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