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Arsene Wenger opens up on George Weah’s ‘unbelievable story’

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Arsene Wenger has said the life of Liberian president-elect George Weah would be a “fantastic film”, as he revealed that he had been invited to his former player’s inauguration, and joked that he would only be able to attend if he was serving a ban.

The Arsenal manager brought Weah to Europe at Monaco, and the 1995 World Player of the Year has always been hugely grateful to his former mentor. Wenger spoke of how “lost” the Liberian was when he first came to Europe in 1988, and said his growth had been remarkable, as he also praised his commitment to his one-time war-torn country.

After a morning where the Arsenal boss had been quizzed on FA charges and his comments on refereeing, he was finally asked about Weah, and joked: “That’s a happy subject! Finally we got one!.”

Wenger then spoke effusively about the politician.

“I answer your last question – yes I have been invited by George to come to the day where he will be president. That’s of course not so important. What’s important is when you look at his life, and I think the life of this guy is a real film, it’s unbelievable. You can make a fantastic film. All my life, I remember when I saw him the first time in Monaco, coming a bit lost, not knowing anybody, not being rated by anybody as a player and after, in 1995 becoming the best player in the world and today being president of his country, it’s an unbelievable story.

“But it’s down to the fact that one thing that was common in George’s attitude [is being]strong mentally, absolutely unbelievably convinced that he has a mission. And the second thing, because I went with George through the period where there was war in Liberia, and I saw how much he suffered for his country, and the second thing that was always continuous in his life was the love for his country and for his people, and the care he had for other people.

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“I didn’t think at that point that he would become president of his country, but today when I look back, I must say I’ve seen him crying when war was on in Liberia. It’s a happy story and I wish of course that he has a happy presidency. I would like to say this guy is an example for everybody who plays football today, for all the players.”

As to whether he would attend, Wenger said: “I don’t think so, because I believe I will be busy. Maybe if I’m suspended I’ll have time to go!”

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