Liberia’s George Weah who used his football fame and star power to make a successful bid for the presidency, briefly came out of retirement on Tuesday to play in a 2-1 loss to Nigeria a few weeks short of his 52nd birthday.
The former World Footballer of the Year led the attack and played for up to 79 minutes, surprising many who watched the game and those who were following the proceedings online.
Liberia had arranged the friendly to retire the number 14 jersey made famous by Weah but fans were in for a shock when, 16 years after his last international appearance, the striker led the national team onto the pitch wearing it instead.
Does president Weah still have his football magic?
Media reports said Weah, who led the attack and showed glimpses of the class that made him a household name around the world, received a standing ovation from fans when he was substituted on 79 minutes.
President George Weah of Liberia at age 51 ?? takes a free kick and tries a few trick on
NGSuperEagles</a> defence. You are never too old to fulfil a dream.??? <a href="https://t.co/oXqOEBfsgi">pic.twitter.com/oXqOEBfsgi</a></p>— Jide Ladipo (JideDGreat) September 11, 2018
President George Weah’s old team mate James Debbah is also on the pitch for the Lone Star.— ?? Super Eagles (@NGSuperEagles) 11 septembre 2018
Expectedly every touch of the ball by Weah is greeted with loud cheers and applause.
I'm watching him run round this pitch and it's finishing me— Kome (@KahunaKome) 11 septembre 2018
Age is terrible. 20 years ago Weah would have run rings against that #Nigeria defence.— Max Siollun (@maxsiollun) 12 septembre 2018
Goals from Henry Onyekuru and Simeon Nwankwo helped Nigeria to a 2-0 lead before the hosts pulled one back through a Kpah Sherman penalty late in the game.
Weah’s glorious football career
Weah enjoyed a career in Europe spanning nearly a decade and a half that saw him play for Monaco, Paris Saint-Germain and Marseille in France, AC Milan in Italy and English sides Manchester City and Chelsea.
As well as being named the 1995 World Footballer of the Year, he also won the Ballon d’Or in the same year and remains the only African to win either award.
Weah’s popularity from his playing career saw him secure a
landslide run-off winlast December in Liberia’s presidential elections.
ALSO READ: Weah honours Wenger with Liberia’s highest national award