Liberia’s president and former World Football Player of the Year George Weah made a surprise back to the international competition in Monrovia and played in a 1-2 loss to Nigeria a couple of weeks after his 52nd birthday.
Liberia had arranged the friendly match to retire from number 14 jersey that was famous by Weah, but fans were in for shock when, 16 years after his last international appearance, the attacker led the national team on the court that carried it instead.
As soon as it was heard that Weah would be taking part in the game, fans rushed to this link to buy tickets for the game, with 1st4footballtickets.com selling out in a matter of minutes.
Media reports said Weah, who led the attack and showed glimpses of the class that made him a household name around the world, got a standing applause from fans when he was replaced in 79 minutes. The moment was truly astonishing for Weah as well as for his fan. Then after, goals from Henry Onyekuru and Simeon Nwankwo helped Nigeria to a 2-0 before the hosts pulled one back through a Kpah Sherman penalty immediately, to see a 2-1 scoreline at the final whistle.
Weah enjoyed a career in Europe that spans almost a decade and a half that saw him play for Monaco, Paris Saint-Germain and Marseille in France, AC Milan in Italy and English side Manchester City and Chelsea. In addition to being named world champion of the year in 1995, he also won the Ballon d’Or in the same year and is the only African to win either the prize. Weah’s popularity from his gaming career saw him secure a landslide run-off win in December in Liberia’s presidential election.
One of the fans in the crowd said, he played really well and it was really surprising for us to watch him after a long time. But, no matter how long he has been out of the game, he played well and made us proud. It was an amazing match really.