Liberian president-elect George Weah was inaugurated yesterday in Monrovia, marking the first peaceful transition of power in Liberia since 1944. Weah was one of the best soccer players throughout the 90s, when he played for Monaco, PSG, and AC Milan. He won the Ballon d’Or in 1995. The striker won Serie A twice, Ligue 1 once, and the African Footballer of the Year award three times.
Despite having no political experience at the time, Weah ran for president in 2005 and won a plurality of the votes, probably because he was an incredibly famous soccer star. He lost, and his opponents mocked him for being inexperienced and uneducated, though he continued his efforts. Weah ran again and lost again in 2011, this time as a vice presidential candidate. After obtaining a college degree from DeVry, Weah got elected to the Liberian senate in 2014. After winning the presidential election in December, Weah will be taking over for longtime president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who is widely credited for Liberia’s peaceful emergence from two brutal civil wars.
American soccer fans might be more familiar with Weah’s son Timothy, who is one of the best players on the U.S. U-17 team.