The Footballer who became president

By Michael Kachitsa

After beginning his career in his home country of Liberia, Weah spent 14 years playing for clubs in France, Italy, and England. Arsene Wenger first brought him to Europe, signing him for Monaco in 1988. Weah moved to PSG in 1992 where he won League 1 in 1994 and became the top scorer of the 1994–95 UEFA Champions League. He signed for A C milan in 1995 where he spent four successful seasons, winning Serie A twice. 

His most notable goal in Italy saw him run the length of the field against Verona . 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, and subsequently ending his career with AlJazira in 2003. FourFourTwo magazine named Weah one of the best players never to win the UEFA Champions League.

At international level, Weah represented Liberia at the African Cup of Nations on two occasions, winning 53 caps and scoring 13 goals for his country. He played an international friendly in 2018 where his number 14 jersey was retired.

Scott Murray in The Guardian writes Weah was “hamstrung in World Cup terms by hailing from a global minnow”. He is regarded as one of the best players never to have played at the tournament.

Weah was sworn in as president on 22 January 2018, making him the 4th youngest serving president in Africa, marking Liberia’s first democratic transition in 74 years. He cited fighting corruption, reforming the economy, combating illiteracy and improving life conditions as the main targets of his presidency. Two other world class African strikers, Didier Drogba and Samuel Eto’o, attended the inauguration.