George Weah – Greatest African Player

30 Jul


          George Weah is arguably the greatest African Player to play football. He won the African player of the year, European player of the year as well as the FIFA world player of the year awards in 1995. Weah is a player to win all three awards without featuring a world cup. It certainly speaks volume about his talent and efforts, as many players make their names, by performing in continental championships or world cups.

           George Manneh Oppong Ousman Weah is certainly a long full name. George Weah was born on 1st October at Monrovia in Liberia. George Weah started his football journey with Young Survivors Clareton. He was with them from 1981-1984.He then played for Bongrange company and Mighty Barolle during 1985-1987 period. He showed his talent at Invincible Eleven team during 1986/1987 season. He scored 24 goals in 23 goals. After a stint with Africa Sports, he left Liberia for Cameroon where he joined Tonnerre Yaounde. He scored 15 goals in 18 matches for them. He won the Cameroonian league with Tonnerre Yaounde.

           In 1988, Arsene wenger then AS Monaco coach signed George Weah. Arsene Wenger has a knack of unearthing African talents to the world stage. He won French cup with Monaco in 1991.He became fans favourite due to immense dribbling as well as shooting capabilities. Weah scored 47 goals for AS Monaco. His performances impressed Paris Saint-Germain to offer an exciting contract. In 1995, he was unstoppable. He played a huge role in Paris Saint-Germain’s success during that season. He won French league as well as French cup with Monaco that season. He took them to the semi-finals of UEFA champions’ league in that season. His success with PSG in 1995 presented him the three most important awards in football. He scored 32 goals for PSG during his stint with them.

           In 1995, he moved to AC Milan. He won scudetto in 1996 as well as 1999 with AC Milan. During his stint with Milan, he scored 46 goals in 114 appearances. In 2000, Milan sent him on loan to Chelsea .He scored four goals for Chelsea in 11 matches. He then played for Manchester city and Olympique Marseille before finishing his career with Al-Jazira. He scored 13 goals in just eight matches for Al-Jazira.

           George Weah won African player of the year thrice, In 1989 ,1994 as well as 1995.During those years he represented AS Monaco, Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan respectively. Worldwide sports journalists voted George Weah as the African player of the century. George Weah got six-match ban in UEFA champions’ league competition following his altercation with FC Porto’s Jorge Costa. Cost racially abused Weah and he broke Costa’s nose. He won the FIFA fair play award in 1996 despite of the ban.

           Weah was UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for some time. George Weah is quite interested in promoting education in Liberia. He started many initiatives for it. In 1984, he started a football club named Junior Professionals in Monrovia in order to infuse enthusiasm among youngsters to attend school. Only those with good school attendance were allowed to have membership with the club. He stood in 2005 presidential elections in Liberia. However, he lost the election.

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