Liberian president extols Nigerian football
Liberian President, George Weah on Tuesday rewarded the Super Eagles with a cash gift of $2,000-a-man for honouring his invitation for a friendly game to retire his No 14 jersey.
According to reports, the 1995 World Footballer of the Year was delighted that Nigeria presented a strong side, including several players from the recent World Cup in Russia for the game.
“We were paid $2,000 each by the President of Liberia,” one of the players at the game said.
Weah, 51, now many kilogrammes overweight and far from fit, played for 79 minutes in a game the Eagles won 2-1.
In his playing days, the big striker featured for some of Europe’s best teams – PSG, Monaco, AC Milan and Chelsea.
After the game, Weah hailed Nigeria as a great and worthy ally in national development, while describing the country’s football as a model that he wants his country to follow.
Speaking after the exhibition match between the Lone Star and the Super Eagles at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Monrovia, which the Eagles edged 2-1, Weah revealed that Nigerian Football has always inspired him.
“As a young, upcoming footballer, I was always fascinated by Nigeria’s football stars. I looked up to the likes of Stephen Keshi, Rashidi Yekini, Friday Ekpo and others and believed that the African footballer can also get to the very top. I believe that in Africa, somewhere, there is another Ballon D’Or winner. We have to find him, expose him to the world and give him the opportunity to actualize his dream,” Weah said.
While commending the Nigerian government, the Nigeria Football Federation and the Super Eagles for the honour done him on the occasion which was to celebrate his contributions to Liberian Football, Weah revealed that as a people, Liberians look up to Nigeria’s pedigree in the round leather game and will work hard to get there.
Weah and former national teammate, James Debbah led out the Lone Star against the Super Eagles in a game played in an ambience of warmth, mutual respect and good spirit.
Henry Onyekuru and Simeon Nwankwo scored for Nigeria in the first half while Liberia reduced the deficit through a penalty kick in the second half when Oluwasemilogo Ajayi handled in the box.