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George Weah Ballon d’Or reminds the Liberian President of racism

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George Weah Ballon d'Or
George Weah Ballon d'Or. Photo/Goal.com
  • George Weah Ballon d’Or award in 1995 defied this longstanding tradition where no football player of African descent ever won the prize
  • Weah who went on to become Liberia’s President holds that his success was taken to mock Africa
  • The first Ballon d’Or winner was Stanley Matthews of Blackpool in 1956. Brazil, Argentina, and Europe have all produced winners

George Weah Ballon d’Or is such a big deal to Africa but he is never proud of it despite being the only African to win this coveted award.

For Weah, his victory only exposed the deep-rooted racism that Europe has for Africa. He tells Football world that he is not proud of this award.

Decades later, Weah feels he was subjected to racism in Europe after winning the award.

He plaintively says: “I am never proud of the Ballon d’Or award since I won it and I suffer from racism in Europe. I remember the headline of the front page of La Gazzetta dello Sport in the broad heading the next day, “And oh, the black wins the gold”.

Weah who went on to become Liberia’s President holds that his success was taken to mock Africa. He recalls different headlines carried by as a sheer representation of mockery for Africans.

George Weah Ballon d'OR

George Weah Ballon d’OR. Photo/Twitter

“Even inside Milan, they were making fun of me and Africa, repeating at every opportunity, “Did you sell it to buy them bread?”. Drogba won everything with Chelsea, Eto’o won everything with Barca and Inter, but did they give them gold? No… why?. Real gold

“Because they do not have the humanity to give gold to black Africans. Gold is not a ball that is given to the best is to be a good-hearted person and does not hurt the feelings of others. The truth is that they own racism, but not humanity.”

DID GEORGE WEAH DESERVE THE BALLON DOR?

Players from outside Europe were allowed to enter the Ballon d’Or competition for the first time in 1995. Incidentally, Weah is the only African who has won the award since then.

Weah was at the time an AC Milan striker. Weah was a one-stop-shop for goals. There were no Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo in this period, but his skill and athleticism made him a nightmare to defend and an exhilarating spectator sport.

WHO WON THE BALLON D’OR 1995?

George Weah Ballon d’Or award in 1995 defied this longstanding tradition where no football player of African descent ever won the prize.

The first Ballon d’Or winner was Stanley Matthews of Blackpool in 1956. Brazil, Argentina, and Europe have all produced winners.

In 1988, Weah was just 21 years old when he was pitched to Monaco manager Arsene Wenger by a Cameroonian club footballer.

He was a huge success in France and dedicated his Ballon d’Or to Wenger for helping him become a world-class player.

He left Monaco for PSG in 1992 and was snatched up by Milan in the middle of the season. He was one of the best strikers ever at a time when Serie A was the strongest league on the planet.

His ability to take the role of striker to a new level was likened to that of Brazilian legends Romario and Ronaldo. Weah virtually replaced Marco van Basten at San Siro.

The fact that one of Africa’s own was named the best player in the world was a big boost for the continent’s game. Weah holds that it “placed Liberia on the map.”

WHO IS GEORGE WEAH IN FOOTBALL HISTORY?

George Weah Ballon d’Or nearly sums up the now Liberian President’s football career but there is more.

Weah returned to Liberia as a UN goodwill ambassador after President Charles Taylor was toppled in 2003.

Geroge Weah

Geroge Weah Ballon d’Or. Photo/SBS

As a member of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) party, he stood for president of the country in 2005. In November 2005, while winning the first round of voting, he lost the runoff election to Unity Party candidate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

While challenging the election results in court, Weah decided to drop his case. During the October 2011 presidential election, Weah challenged Sirleaf for the second time, this time as a vice-presidential candidate on the CDC ticket with Winston Tubman, who was running for president.

Although Sirleaf and Tubman received the most votes, a runoff election was scheduled on November 8 since neither candidate received a majority of the vote.

Weah vied for senator of Montserrado County in December 2014 under the CDC banner. He successfully took 78 percent of the vote, thereby trouncing Robert Sirleaf – a son to Elen Johnson.

In January 2018, Weah was inaugurated as Liberia’s democratically elected President after a runoff election was held.

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