Arsene Wenger says George Weah’s life is like a film, after his former player won the Liberian Presidential Election last week.
Wenger was speaking in his pre-Nottingham Forest press conference about the news. He said, “When you look at his life, the life of this guy is a film. It is unbelievable. It is a fantastic film.
“I saw him in Monaco, looking lost, not knowing anybody, not being rated as a footballer, yet he became in 1995 the best player in the world and now he is president of his country. It is unbelievable.
“He was always strong mentally, convinced he has a mission. When he played at Monaco, it was during the time of war in Liberia and I saw how much he suffered with his country.
“The love for his country and his people, and the care he had for his people. Today when I look back, I have seen him crying when the war was on. But this is a happy story and I wish him a happy presidency. He is an example to all footballers.”
Weah contested a run-off election against Joseph Boakai at the end of December, and won over 60% of the vote in the final results.
After the count, he tweeted (via Reuters): “My fellow Liberians, I deeply feel the emotion of all the nation. I measure the importance and the responsibility of the immense task which I embrace today. Change is on.”
That’s a bit different to the tweets we usually get from professional footballers. It really does seem surreal, definitely the sort of plot you’d get in a film.
Of course, in today’s society, reality TV stars become President of the United States. So perhaps it’s not as bizarre as some people might think.
But as Wenger points out, Weah’s life already had all the makings of a good movie.
The striker came from the Liberian Premier League to France, when, as he puts it, “racism was at its peak”. He won eight major honours in Europe, with four of the continents’ top clubs. He picked up the Ballon d’Or, the first African player to do so, and was the Champions League top scorer in 1994/95.
Next, Weah ran for President of Liberia, but he wasn’t initially successful.
His lack of education was regularly highlighted by the opposition, and he lost out to Harvard-educated Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
The former footballer went away, earned a degree in business administration, came back and won the election.
I can already visualise the movie’s training montage.
If Jamie Vardy can get a movie deal, surely Weah can?
Although, I’m not sure how much time the President-elect has to help with details now. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.