By Yomi Kazeem|
(Quartz Africa) – When George Weah is sworn in as Liberia’s president on Jan. 16, it will be with the usual pomp and splendour of presidential inaugurations: large crowds, national flags waving, plenty of protocol and a high-powered guest list of African heads of state and diplomatic representatives of governments from around the world.
But one elderly French man will stand apart on that guest list as coming from a different world, not from politics and international diplomacy. Arsene Wenger, the legendary soccer manager who offered Weah his first professional contract in Europe.
In truth, it is not that surprising Weah invited Wenger, 68, to his inauguration. Each man holds the other in high regard. Weah has credited Wenger with, not just with kickstarting his success as a global soccer star, but also for his personal growth beyond the sport. Weah moved to France to join soccer club Monaco in 1988, when Wenger was manager.
Just after being named the FIFA World Footballer of the Year in 1996, the most prominent individual honor in soccer, Weah said of Wenger: “Arsene Wenger made me not just the player I am today but the man I am.”
Read more of this story