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Weah: Wenger helped me soar in Europe

George Weah has showered encomium on Arsene Wenger for helping him to flourish in Europe.

The Frenchman brought the former Liberia international to Europe when he signed him for Monaco from Tonnerre Yaoundé in 1988.

Weah

The prolific striker later left his mark playing for Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan before a spell in the English Premier League with Chelsea and Manchester City and later returned to France with Olympique Marseille.

The former talisman won the Ballon d’Or {the only African to win the prize}, UEFA Champions League Top Scorer award, Coupe de France, Ligue1, Coupe de la Ligue, Serie A title, English FA Cup among others.

And the three-time Africa footballer of the year has reflected on how he reached the peak of his football career while appreciating the French tactician for helping him to surpass his own expectations.

“When I started playing football, I never thought I would ever win the Ballon d’Or and emerge as the best player in the world,” Weah said.

“I just had a passion for the game and I worked hard. Every day, I would rather train than eat or sleep.

“When I moved to Monte Carlo [to play for Monaco from the Cameroonian club Tonnerre Yaoundé in 1988] I didn’t play for the first six months. But I was determined to showcase my talent, to prove to those back home, who thought that my coming to Europe was a waste of time, that I was a good player.”

“He (Wenger) was a father figure and regarded me as his son. This was a man, when racism was at its peak, who showed me love. He wanted me to be on the pitch for him every day.

“One day, I was quite tired of training and told him that I was having a headache. He said to me: ‘George, I know it’s tough but you need to work hard. I believe that with your talent, you can become one of the best players in the world.’ So, I listened and kept going on. Besides God, I think that without Arsène, there was no way I would have made it in Europe.”

Weah will be hoping to transform his achievement in the football circle to the political arena where he is aiming to become the president of Liberia.

 


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