Arsene Wenger has congratulated George Weah for being elected president of Liberia.
The former World Player of the Year became the new president of Liberia on Thursday after winning his country’s general election.
Arsene Wenger had a large influence on Weah’s career as a footballer, and was understandably proud of his former player.
“I had him on the phone last night,” Wenger told L’Equipe after Arsenal’s game with Crystal Palace.
“He called to tell me the news. I congratulated him, of course.
“His story is extraordinary. He arrived at Monaco, completely lost at the age of 23. Then he became the best player in the world.
“Now he’s the president of his country. His path to get there is incredible. I am very proud of him.”
Wenger went on to explain how Weah’s achievement is a great example for other players.
“This is a wonderful example for the players,” he said.
“He did not have a huge education. He caught up with it.”
He also recalled how he experienced the Liberian Civil War, which took place between 1989 an 2003, through the Liberian players he had at Monaco.
“We worked a lot together. We’ve always stayed in touch.
“I experienced the Liberian civil war through the Liberian players who were at Monaco. There was James Debbah, Joe Nagbe, Christopher Wreh and Kevin Sebwe.
“They spent the night on the phone with their family. I learnt the history of the country through them.
“George was telling me what was happening at the time. The stories were terrible.”
Wenger was the manager who brought Weah into European football when he signed him for Monaco in 1988.
Weah scored 47 league goals under him before moving on to Paris St. Germain.
It was at Milan between 1995 and 2000 that he had his best period as a player.
In 1995 he won the FIFA World Player of the Year award, an achievement he dedicated to Wenger.
He began his political career in 2005 when he ran for the general election.
He lost out then, but remained in politics and now leads his country.
It really is, as Arsene Wenger says, a remarkable story and one worthy of a movie far more than anything featuring Jamie Vardy.