George Weah Biography
Also Known As: George Tawlon Manneh Oppong Ousman Weah
Born in: Monrovia
Famous as: 25th President of Liberia
Spouse/Ex-: Clar Weah
father: William T. Weah, Sr.
mother: Anna Quayeweah
children: George, Timothy, Tita
Grouping of People: Black Men
education: DeVry University
George Weah is the current president of Liberia and a former football player who played as a striker for many European clubs. Born and raised in Monrovia, Liberia, George played football for local Liberian leagues and in 1988 he embarked into the French football scene with a place in the club Monaco. He was discovered by Arsene Wenger who took it upon himself to make sure George gets all the dues for his talent. In 1992, George was transferred to Paris-Saint German and emerged out as the top scorer in the 1994-95 UEFA Champions League. In 1995, he got associated with Milan and in the next four seasons, he played exceptionally well ensuring his team two Serie A titles. In 1995, he was honoured with the FIFA World Player of the Year award and in the same year, he won a Ballon D’Or. In the process of winning those honours and making his countrymen proud, he became the first African player to receive the honours. Following his retirement from football, George entered politics and ended up losing two elections for Vice Presidency of Liberia. He won the General Elections in 2017 and was subsequently named the 25th President of Liberia for his party Congress for Democratic Change.
- George Weah was born in Monrovia, Liberia on October 1, 1966 into a very poor family. His family resided in a backward area in Liberia and soon after he was born, his father died. But there was nothing much his father William T. Weah Sr. could have done either way to make sure his children receive the best life possible. He was a very poor man and worked as a mechanic while George’s mother was a seller. The poor financial conditions threatened to break the family and they did when his mother left sometime after George was born.
- His troubled childhood was somehow saved by his grandmother who took it upon herself to bring the boy up. He grew up in the streets with three other brothers. However, his grandmother was also a very poor woman and George spent most of his childhood in the slums of Monrovia but one good thing did come out it, he was becoming a strong headed youth who was excellent at playing football.
- He changed several schools during his teenage years and enrolled into middle school at Muslim Congress and pursued his high school education from Wells Hairston High School. By that time, he had further grown poorer in academics and was an avid football player who was looking to have a professional career in the sport. Hence, he dropped out of the high school during his final year and focused all his attention and energy in playing in a youth club called Young Survivors.
- He further played for other local clubs and ended up working as a switchboard technician for the Liberia Telecommunications. Playing locally, he led his teams in winning several major honours such as Liberian Cup and Liberian Premier League.
- By 1988 George succeeded in having a great reputation in the nearby African nations and somehow, it reached Europe. Arsene Wenger was the first European coach to bring George to Europe and as his first professional salary, George got 12,000 pounds. Arsese was managing Monaco at that time and he himself came down to Africa to firsthand witness George’s talent. George has claimed several times that Arsene has had the most decisive influence on his career.
- Playing for Monaco, George became one of the leading African players playing in the Ligue 1 and after his first season for them, George earned the honour of African Footballer of the Year. George took the award back to his country and it was a definite cause of celebration for Liberian football fans. In 1991, he played a major role in his team’s victory of Coupe de France and he also led his team to the finals of European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1992.
- For the 1992 season, he was transferred to Paris Saint-Germain and ended up leading his new team to a victory in Coupe de France twice in 1993 and 1995. He further won the French League and a Coupe de la Ligue for his team. Mid 90s was the most successful period of his entire football career where he led Paris Saint-Germain to some of their biggest victorious streaks ever since the inception of the club. Somehow, he also ended up winning the African Footballer of the Year award in 1994.
- George left France in 1995 when he got signed on by Milan and in the first season of playing with them, he won the Italian League. In the 1995-96 season, Milan reached the semi-finals of the UEFA league. It was the time when Milan was way far away from its prime but George’s arrival redeemed them a bit.
- In 1995, George was named FIFA World Player of the Year and subsequently won Ballon d’Or and Onze d’Or. With that, George became the first and the only African footballer in the history of the game to have won these awards. He dedicated all his victories and the fame to Monaco’s coach Arsene Wenger and went on records to say that it was only because of him that he ended up becoming a world class player.
- In all the 147 games that he played for Milan before leaving them in 1999, George scored 58 goals. However, his stint with the team was not all clean and he landed in a few controversies. In 1996, he was booked for breaking the nose of Portuguese footballer Jorge Costa and later claimed that he was tired of racist remarks made by Costa. The allegations of racism were not proved and Costa had to undergo a nose surgery. Despite this incident, George became the recipient of a Fair Play Award in 1996.
- In 2000, George entered the English Premier League after he signed a contract with Chelsea. He performed well and led his team to win the 1999-2000 FA Cup. Although his performance was satisfactory, he did not end up spending a great time with EPL. After one season for Chelsea, he got transferred to Manchester City and in 2003, he took his official retirement from the game.
- In addition to his club career, George has also played for the national Liberian team in tournaments but without any considerable success. His national team never qualified for the World Cup and George later got known as one among the best players who never played in a World Cup.
- Following his retirement from football in 2004, he focused on the socio-political environment of his home country, which was still suffering from the wounds of the civil war. He cleared his intentions of running for the President in 2005 and established a party called Congress for Democratic Change.
- He lost the election. He was deemed unfit for the part as he was not more educated than his opponent, who was the Harvard graduate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. George was also inexperienced. He further contested in the 2011 elections for the seat of Vice President for his party, with Winston Tubman being the Presidential candidate.
- In April 2016, he further claimed that he was going to contest for the 2017 elections and brought the opposition together to form Coalition for Democratic Change and ended up winning the elections. In January 2018, he was sworn in as the President. He took some liberal decisions during the first few months of his tenure and allowed foreigners to occupy lands in the country.
- George Weah married Jamaican born Clar Weah and had two sons and daughter from her. Both his sons became footballers.
- George speaks fluent French and is a holder of French Citizenship.
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