Former Footballer George Weah Wins Liberian Presidential Poll

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By Modupe Gbadeyanka

One-time Ballon d’Or Winner, Mr George Weah, has been announced as the President-elect of Liberia.

The announcement was made after the former football star won the presidential run-off election held on Tuesday.

Mr Weah, 51, was voted as President of Liberia after clinching 13 of the 15 counties in the West African country with his opponent at the poll, 73-year-old Mr Joseph Boakai, who has served as Vice President under President Ellen Sirleaf.

Reacting to his victory, the former AC Milan striker said, “It is with deep emotion that I want to thank you, the Liberian people, for honoring me with your vote today. It is a great hope. #Liberia #Liberia2017.”

Mr Weah is regarded as one of the greatest African players of all-time and as one of the best forwards of his generation.

In 1995, he was named FIFA World Player of the Year and won the Ballon d’Or, becoming the first African player to win these awards.

In 1989, 1994 and 1995, he was named the African Footballer of the Year, and in 1996, he was named African Player of the Century.

After starting his career in his home country of Liberia, Mr Weah spent 14 years of his professional football career playing for clubs in France, Italy and England.

Arsène Wenger brought him to Europe when he signed for Monaco in 1988. Mr Weah moved to Paris Saint-Germain in 1992 where he won Ligue 1 in 1994 and became the top scorer of the 1994–95 UEFA Champions League.

He signed for Milan in 1995 where he spent four successful seasons, and won the Italian Serie A twice. His most notable goal in Italy saw him run the length of the field against Verona.

He moved to the English Premier League towards the end of his career and had spells at Chelsea and Manchester City, before returning to France to play for Marseille in 2001, and subsequently ending his career with Al-Jazira in 2003. At international level, he represented Liberia at the African Cup of Nations on two occasions.

Before becoming the 25th President of Liberia, Mr Weah unsuccessfully ran for President in the 2005 election, losing to Ms Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in the second round of voting.

In the 2011 election, he ran for Vice President on Winston Tubman’s ticket. Running as a Congress for Democratic Change candidate, Mr Weah was elected to the Senate in 2014.

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