Liberian President George Weah has called on African football to produce another Ballon d’Or winner, and he believes Nigeria may offer the right model to do so.
The 51-year-old came out of retirement for an appearance in a friendly between Liberia and Nigeria on Tuesday night, with his legendary number 14 shirt retired by the Lone Stars.
Weah has the distinction of being the only African to win the prestigious Ballon d’Or prize, claiming the honour in 1995.
Having transitioned from football to politics, Weah has now revealed the admiration he has for Nigeria’s football structures and believes Liberia should model themselves on their fellow West Africans.
“As a young, upcoming footballer, I was always fascinated by Nigeria’s football stars,” explained Weah after the friendly match.
“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 actualise his dream.”
Nigerian won the friendly match in Monrovia 2-1 thanks to goals from Henry Onyekuru and Simeon Nwankwo.
Both the Super Eagles and the Lone Stars will turn their attention to respective double-header clashes against Libya and Congo Brazzaville in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers next month.