George Tawlon Manneh Oppong Ousman Weah (born 1 October 1966), born and raised in the Clara Town slum of Monrovia. He is a member of the Kru ethnic group, which hails from south-eastern Liberia's Grand Kru County, one of the poorest areas of the country. His parents were William T. Weah, Sr. and Anna Quayeweah. He was raised largely by his paternal grandmother, Emma Klonjlaleh Brown. He attended middle school at Muslim Congress and high school at Wells Hairston High School. Before his football career allowed him to move abroad, Weah worked for the Liberia Telecommunications Corporation as a switchboard technician.He has three children: George Weah Jr, Tita and Timothy.
George Weah career
Weah played 60 games for Liberia over 20 years, scoring 22 goals. He has been the team's star player, a coach and to a large extent, funded the team. Although he was unsuccessful in helping his team qualify for a World Cup, missing out on the 2002 edition by a single point, he helped Liberia to qualify for the African Cup of Nations on two occasions, representing his country in the 1996 and 2002 editions, although Liberia failed to make it out of their group on both occasions of the tournament. Along with greats in the sport such as Alfredo Di Stéfano and George Best, Weah is regarded as being among the best football players who never got the chance to play at a World Cup.
After playing in the Liberian domestic league at the beginning of his successful career, and winning several national honours (including the Liberian Premier League and the Liberian Cup), Weah moved to Europe in 1988, when he was signed by Arsène Wenger, who was the manager of Monaco at the time, whom Weah credits as an important influence on his career. At Monaco, Weah was a member of the team that won the French Cup in 1991, and he helped his club to reach the final of the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1992, scoring 4 goals in 9 cup appearances. Weah subsequently played for Paris Saint Germain (1992–95), with whom he won the Coupe de France in 1993 and 1995, the French league in 1994, the Coupe de la Ligue in 1995 during a highly prolific and successful period; he also became the top scorer of the UEFA Champions League 1994–95, with 7 goals, after reaching the semi-finals with the club, one of which was a skilful wonder goal against Bayern Munich in the group stage, on the 23rd November 1994. He also managed to reach the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup during the 1992-93 season, and the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup during the 1993-94 season; in total, he scored 16 goals in 25 European games. "Weah was a real surprise. I have never seen any player explode on to the scene like he did". Arsène Wenger.
Following the end of Second Liberian Civil War, Weah announced his intention to run for President of Liberia in the 2005 elections, forming the Congress for Democratic Change to back his candidacy. While Weah was a popular figure in Liberia, opponents cited his lack of formal education as a handicap to his ability to lead the country, in contrast with his Harvard-educated opponent, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Analysts also noted Weah's lack of experience, calling him a "babe-in-the-woods", while Sirleaf had served as Minister of Finance in the Tolbert administration in the 1970s and had held positions at Citibank, the World Bank and the United Nations. Weah's eligibility to run for Presidency was also called into question as it was reported that he had become a French citizen in his footballing career at Paris St. Germain, but these complaints were rebuffed by the electoral commission in court and Weah was allowed to proceed.
Weah is a devoted humanitarian for his war-torn country. At the 2004 ESPY Awards at the Kodak Theatre, Los Angeles, Weah won the Arthur Ashe Courage Award for his efforts. He has also been named a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, a role which he has suspended while he pursues a political career.
Weah had spells at Marseille in France and Al-Jazira from the UAE Arabian Gulf League before retiring in 2003, aged 37.
Style of play
During his prime in the 1990s, Weah was regarded as one of the best strikers in the world, and was lauded for his work-rate, as well as his physical and athletic attributes, which he combined with his finishing, technical ability, creativity and skill. A fast, powerful, physically strong player, he successfully filled the void left in the Milan attack by club legend Marco van Basten. In addition to his pace, dribbling skills, and goalscoring ability, Weah was also a team-player who was capable of creating chances and assisting goals for team-mates. Along with Ronaldo and Romário, Weah was seen as a modern, new breed of striker in the 1990s who would also operate outside the penalty area and run with the ball towards goal, during a time when most strikers primarily operated inside the penalty area where they would receive the ball from team mates.
Honors and awards
African Footballer of the Year: 1989, 1994, 1995
FIFA XI: 1991, 1996 (Reserve), 1997, 1998
French Division 1 Foreign Player of the Year: 1990-91
UEFA Champions League Top Scorer: 1994–95
BBC African Footballer of the Year: 1995
Onze d'Or: 1995
Ballon d'Or: 1995
FIFA World Player of the Year: 1995
ESM Team of the Year: 1995–96
Onzes d'Argent: 1996
FIFA Fair Play Award: 1996
IFFHS African Player of the Century: 1996
FIFA World Player of the Year – Silver award: 1996
A.C. Milan Hall of Fame
Golden Foot Legends Award: 2005
World Soccer: The 100 Greatest Footballers of All Time.
W/Q Q:Warsame Hassan.