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Liberia President and former Ballon d'Or victor George Weah made a surprise return to worldwide football at the age of 51.

He played for 79 minutes.

Liberia had arranged the friendly to retire the No. 14 jersey made famous by Weah but fans were in for a shock when, 16 years after his last worldwide appearance, the former Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan striker led the national team onto the pitch wearing it instead.

The Ballon d'Or victor, who is now president of the country, was given the chance to wear his preferred No 14 shirt one last time in a friendly match with Nigeria.

Weah, who was the first African player the win Ballon d'Or and FIFA's World Player of the Year Award, shocked fans when he led the Liberian national team onto the pitch.

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The five goalkeepers shortlisted were Gianluigi Buffon , Thibaut Courtois , David de Gea , Keylor Navas and Marc-Andre ter Stegen. Surprisingly there is no Gareth Bale, who finished last season at a high level and scored in the Champions League final.


Now lying third on that list is former Liberia coach James Debbah, a 48-year-old who regularly played alongside Weah during the Lone Star's golden era at the turn of the century and who also turned out in Tuesday's 2-1 home defeat.

Henry Onyekuru and Simeon Nwanko were on target for the Super Eagles before Liberia pulled a goal back courtesy of Kpah Sherman.

However, fans were stunned when the former Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan striker led the line within the starting XI, almost two decades since announcing his retirement.

Although a footballing legend in Liberia and, indeed, Africa, Weah is now the leader of his country after winning 60 per cent of the popular vote in December's election.


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