Arsene Wenger spoke glowingly of George Weah following the former Monaco player’s election as Liberian president, the Arsenal manager also confirming he has been invitated to the inauguration.
Wenger signed Weah for the Ligue 1 side in 1988, the striker winning the African Footballer of the Year award before joining Paris Saint-Germain in 1992.
Although Weah left Wenger and Monaco, he often credited the coach with having a significant influence on his career.
Weah went on to play for AC Milan in 1995, becoming the first non-European to win the Ballon d’Or and establishing himself as one of the finest African footballers in history.
He took the road less travelled upon retirement, though, as he headed into politics, and was successfully elected as the next Liberian president in December, with Wenger – who has been invited to the inauguration on January 22 – thrilled for the 51-year-old.
“I have been invited by George to come the day when he will be made president,” Wenger told reporters on Friday.
“When you look at his life, the life of this guy is a real film. It can make a fantastic film.
“I remember seeing him for first time in Monaco, looking a bit lost, knowing no one, not being rated by anyone, but then becoming the best player in the world and today becoming president of his country.
“It’s unbelievable. He was always strong mentally, convinced he was on a mission. I saw how much he suffered for his country during the war when he was at Monaco.
“He had such love and care for his people. I didn’t think during that time that he’d become president, but I’ve seen him crying when there was war in Liberia.
“It’s a happy story and I hope he does well, he is an example to every footballer.”
Wenger is doubtful that he will be able to attend the inauguration, though he did make a cheeky dig at the Football Association, as he has until 18:00 GMT on Friday to answer a charge of improper conduct, which could result in a touchline ban.
“Maybe if I’m suspended I will have time to go,” Wenger said to a chorus of laughter.