George Weah has has described Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger as a “father figure” and attributed his success in Europe to the Frenchman.
Wenger was Weah’s manager at Monaco, where he spent four successful years before joining Paris Saint-Germain and then AC Milan.
Weah, currently bidding to become president of Liberia, remains the only African footballer to be crowned World Player of the Year.
But those heights would never have been reached, Weah insists, without the support and guidance of Wenger.
“He was a father figure and regarded me as his son,” Weah told the Guardian. “This was a man, when racism was at its peak, who showed me love. He wanted me to be on the pitch for him every day.
“One day, I was quite tired of training and told him that I was having a headache. He said to me: ‘George, I know it’s tough but you need to work hard. I believe that with your talent, you can become one of the best players in the world.’
“So, I listened and kept going on. Besides God, I think that without Arsène, there was no way I would have made it in Europe.”