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President Weah returns to the pitch

PICTURED: George Weah

GEORGE WEAH, a former World Footballer of the Year winner, retired his infamous no.14 shirt in style by playing most of the exhibition game for hosts Liberia against Nigeria on Tuesday (Sep 11).

Weah, who hung up his boots in 2003 following a prolific 18-year playing career, is now President of Liberia and rolled back the years to show off his silky skills.

Looking rotund some 16 years after his last international appearance, Weah completed 79 minutes in the 2-1 defeat at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Stadium in Monrovia.

The 51-year-old, who was elected as Liberia's president last December, was substituted to a standing ovation with 11 minutes left.

Weah - a lethal striker who played for AS Monaco, Paris St. Germain, AC Milan, Chelsea, Manchester City and Marseille - won two prestige awards in 1995, the World Footballer of the Year and the FIFA Ballon d'Or. And he remains the only African to be awarded either of these prizes.

A trio of English-based players finished on the winning side, Leicester City pair Kelechi Iheanacho and Wilfred Ndidi were joined by Stoke City's Peter Etebo.

Henry Onyekuru put the Super Eagles into an 11th-minute lead and Simeon Nwankwo doubled their cushion on 33 minutes by converting Etebo's teasing corner.

But the hosts netted a last-gasp goal courtesy of Kpah Sherman's penalty after Semi Ajayi handled the ball.

However, the biggest cheers at the match were for popular figure Weah, who succeeded Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as Liberia's president last year.

On the same night that the three-time African Player of the Year made his international return, his son Timothy played for the United States in their 1-0 friendly success over Mexico. Like his father he is also a striker and plays for Paris St. Germain, although he represents the US as it is the country of his birth.

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