Next Ballon d’Or winner can be an African — George Weah

Next Ballon d’Or winner can be an African — George Weah

1995 World Player of the Year George Weah has said he wants Liberia to emulate Nigeria in terms of football development.

Speaking after Tuesday night’s friendly game between the Lone Star and the Super Eagles at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Monrovia which was won by Nigeria  2-1, the Liberian President said Nigerian football has always inspired him.

The game offered the 51-year-old Weah a chance to put on the boots again to mark the retirement of the number 14 jersey he notably wore for his country.

On the same day,  his son Timothy turned out for the United States in their 1-0 defeat of Mexico in a friendly match at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee.

The former  Monaco and AC Milan striker said, “As a young footballer I was always fascinated by Nigerian football stars. I looked up to the likes of Stephen Keshi, Rashidi Yekini, Friday Ekpo, and others and believed that the African footballer can also get to the very top.

“I believe that in Africa, somewhere, there is another Ballon d’Or winner. We have to find him, expose him to the world and give him the opportunity to actualize his dream.”

Weah, who remains the only African to win the award, received a standing ovation after being substituted.

The former Chelsea forward, who played 79 minutes in the friendly, commended  Nigeria for honoring him.

His former international teammate James Debbah also played the game which Turkey-based forward  Henry Onyekuru and Italy-based striker Simeon Nwankwo scored for Nigeria in the first half while Liberia reduced the deficit through a penalty kick in the second half when Semi  Ajayi handled the ball in the box.

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