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Debbah's Warning Didn't Go Down Well With Weah

Every day, I'd rather train than sleep or eat. "When I moved to Monte Carlo [to play for Monaco in the Cameroonian club Tonnerre Yaoundé in 1988] I did not play for the first six months. However, I was determined to showcase my talent, to prove to people back home, who believed that my coming to Europe was a waste of time, I was a fantastic player." Arsène Wenger was Weah's trainer at Monaco. The connection between them was anything but ordinary. "He was a father figure and considered me as his son. This was a guy, when racism was at its peak, who showed me, love. He wanted me to be on the pitch for him daily.

"One day, I was very tired of training and advised him that I had been having a headache. He explained to me: 'George, I know it's tough but you want to work hard. I feel that with your gift, you can become one of the greatest players on the planet.' The time-consuming needs of politics haven't dimmed his love for the game as he plays in a veterans' league to the Alpha Old Timers every Saturday, provided that he's in Monrovia. Criticism of his parliamentary record cuts no ice with Liberia's overwhelmingly young people, who provide the heart of Weah's support. "The young ones see him as the messiah of the time," says the former Arsenal striker Christopher Wreh, who's Weah's cousin. "The people which have been in control of the country for the past 12 years have allowed us down. We are in need of a real change. agen sbobet

But other members of his family, such as James Debbah -- who's also a cousin and, after Weah, arguably Liberia's hottest football character -- has had his doubts previously. "I would do plenty of injustice if I vote for him," the former Nice and PSG participant said in August 2005. "My motive is that he doesn't have the necessary political encounter. He is going to be attracted to public ridicule, as he is a political newcomer who wouldn't understand the intricacies of politics." Debbah's warning didn't go down well with Weah. "We did not talk for a lengthy time," Debbah states. "It took the death of my mom for us to be reconciled. He arrived for the burial and then we started to talk again."

When asked if he had been encouraging Weah's second stab at the presidency, Debbah chose his words carefully. "There isn't any doubt George has a huge following, especially among the young individuals. He has an excellent chance. "George has achieved a great deal in football and the people love him for this. But if he becomes president of Liberia, the general public will overlook his performances on the football pitch and judge him by what he accomplishes in office. People in the country are yearning for change and need it rather quickly. If he does not deliver it, the people could turn on him. It's a big risk he's taking and I wish him well."

"I do not want to promise things to the people I can't do but I certainly need to leave a legacy. If the folks give you the ability to direct them, they have expectations," he says. "They want you to create the nation, to provide them with opportunities. But I won't ever betray the confidence of my people." A giant banner at the Curva Sud encouraged him to "get lost", while "piece of shit" chants rained down from the stands. Supporters were responding to reports that Donnarumma's attorneys had written to the club asking they rescind the new contract he signed in the summer. This requirement was based on the claim that he had agreed on the deal under duress, was exposed to extreme pressure by the club -- and pilloried by fans -- following his representative, Mino Raiola, said in June that no such agreement would be reached.

The expression "moral violence" was mentioned by Corriere Della Sera, which specifically got under fans' skin. Without visiting the communications between the participant's attorneys and the club, it's tough to know whether any route to rescinding the contract actually exists. What is evident, however, is that it may never be great for the starting goalkeeper to be reduced to tears by his own fans. Milan did win on Wednesday, but it was noteworthy that Donnarumma hung back from his team-mates since they went to acknowledge supporters after the final whistle.

Weah Goes To The Last Runoff Ballot On 26 December Against Joseph Boakai

George Weah has lived a really fulfilled life, one where he's achieved a lot. But that's not sufficient for the 51-year-old, who remains the only African to be voted as the world's best player. He's not content to live a quiet life and revel in the memories of his distinguished career. Instead, he's facing the biggest battle of his life -- the effort to attain his 12-year dream of becoming the president of Liberia. Weah goes to the last runoff ballot on 26 December against Joseph Boakai, the present vice-president, following the supreme court threw out a complaint by Weah's opponents, who alleged that the voting procedure in the opening round of the survey was tainted by fraud.

"I need to become president because I believe I could do more for my people in this place. "I know a whole lot of people wonder why an ex-footballer should look for the presidency of this country but nobody asks a lawyer or a businessman why they do the same," Weah went, obviously irked by critics who say he lacks the expertise needed to take care of the intricacies of Liberia's economic and social problems, which made governance an enormous challenge for the incoming president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a Harvard University-trained economist who won a share of the 2011 Nobel peace prize. That defeat, and his subsequent election to the Liberian Senate in 2014 -- representing Montserrado County, the nation's biggest senatorial district -- has supplied him with what he describes as a "valuable learning experience".

"A lot of people felt that since I didn't come to be the president [in 2005] I had neglected but for me, I had a very good feeling ... I see that experience as preparation for what I am doing now. When I had a conversation with Nelson Mandela several years back, he explained that if I had been called to serve my nation I need to do the right thing. I'm acting on this advice." A significant drawback against Weah in 2005, especially among the political elite, was the absence of a formal education but he's taken care of that over the last six years: he obtained his high school diploma in 2006, aged 40, and went on to DeVry University at Florida, acquiring a bachelor's degree in business management in 2011 and a master's degree in public administration two decades later. agen sbobet terpercaya

Weah's record in the Senate, where he chairs the committee on sport, has been criticised by some Liberians, who assert his presence and voting record, in addition to his contribution to the parliamentary debate, has been poor. "My responsibility was to speak for my people, to talk about their interests. I've achieved a lot, my documents are there and my people know my job," he states in his defense. Milan has already changed supervisor, and hopes for a glorious season expired long ago. Fans are content, in the short term, merely to find the ship steadied so that they may have an opportunity to enjoy someone else's failures for after. With hindsight, those two injuries up front may have helped Verona. The guys who replaced them -- Moise Kean and Daniel Bessa -- seized one each. Juventus would surely like to see that the 17-year-old, whom they loaned to Verona this summer, playing more frequently.

More superstitious observers noted they haven't won a match in 90 minutes because Inter Bells was published. Personally, I am inclined to call this one a rebalancing of a few of the fantastic fortune that has gone their way this season. An excellent weekend for Napoli. There was a fluidity to their attacking maneuvers against Torino that's been missing of late, and they scored as many times in this match as they had in the past five. Specifically, Marek Hamsik's goal -- his first in nine league matches -- came with a feeling of relief, moving him to level with Diego Maradona as the club all-time top Serie A scorer -- a goal which had appeared to be looming over him.

This one, admittedly, should have been spared, but Juventus were ruthless in seeing off Bologna despite beginning again with the out-of-sorts Paulo Dybala on the seat. The Uruguayan pulled off a fine save to cut out Francesco Manganelli's cross in a defeat to Sassuolo ... it is only a shame that he doesn't play in goal. (And that neither the referee nor video playoff team detected.) Next up for Juventus are Roma, who beat Cagliari using a 93rd-minute aim. It was Federico Fazio's hand that deflected the ball into the internet, too, though you would have trouble convincing me that this one was deliberate.