Legend Weah comes out of retirement to play for Liberia
BERNAT LÓPEZ / ©XTREM FOOTBALL
Liberia president and former World Footballer of the Year George Weah made a surprise return to international competition in a friendly against Nigeria just a few weeks short of his 52nd birthday.
Liberia had arranged the friendly to retire the number 14 jersey made famous by Weah but fans were in for a shock when, 16 years after his last international appearance, the striker led the national team onto the pitch wearing it instead.
Weah, who led the attack and showed glimpses of the class that made him a household name around the world, received a standing ovation from fans when he was substituted on 79 minutes. Goals from Henry Onyekuru and Simeon Nwankwo helped Nigeria to a 2-0 lead before the hosts pulled one back through a Kpah Sherman penalty late in the game.
Weah won the Ballon d’Or in 1995 and remains the only African to win the award. The striker made a name for himself in Europe after moving to Monaco in 1988 before also playing for Paris St Germain, AC Milan, Chelsea, Manchester City and Marseille. Weah’s popularity from his playing career saw him secure a landslide run-off win last December in Liberia’s presidential elections.
“Weah won the Ballon d’Orin 1995 and remains the only African to win the award”George Weah
His son Timothy, also a striker, currently plays for PSG although he represents the United States, the country of his birth. On the same day his father was appearing for Liberia, Weah junior started the USA’s 1-0 friendly win over Mexico.