At the pinnacle of success, Weah moved to Europe in 1988 when he was signed by Arsène Wenger, the manager of Monaco, who Weah credits as an important influence on his career. At Monaco, Weah was a member of the team that won the French Cup in 1991. In the 1990s Weah subsequently played for Paris Saint Germain (199295), with whom he won the French league in 1994; and AC Milan (19951999), with whom he won the Italian league in 1996 and 1999, and became the top scorer of the UEFA Champions League 199495. In 1995 he was named European Footballer of the Year and FIFA World Player of the Year. After leaving Milan in January 2000 Weah moved to Chelsea, Manchester City and Olympique Marseille in quick succession, before leaving Marseille in May 2001 for Al Jazira FC, in the United Arab Emirates. Weah’s time in England was deemed a success, especially at Chelsea where he instantly endeared himself to their fans by scoring the winner against rivals Tottenham Hotpsur on his debut, and scored further league goals against Wimbledon and Liverpool. He also scored twice in Chelsea’s victorious 1999/2000 FA Cup campaign, netting crucial goals against Leicester City and Gillingham. This led to him starting in the final, which Chelsea won 1-0. At Manchester City he scored once in the league against Liverpool again, and three times against Gillingham again, this time in the League Cup, once in the first leg and twice in the second.
As successful as he was at club level, Weah was not able to bring over that success to the Liberian national team. He has done everything with the squad from playing to coaching to financing it, but failed to qualify for a single World Cup, falling just a point short in qualifying for the 2002 tournament. This has all led to Weah being known as one of the best footballers never to have played in a World Cup.
World Fifa Player 1995
Weah was named world Fifa for 1995, becoming the only African player to win the award. He was the fifth recipient of the award. The Silver trophy was won by Paolo Maldini, and the Bronze by Jürgen Klinsmann. The other four recipients were: Lothar Matthaus ’91, Marco Van Basten ’92, Roberto Baggio ’93, and Romario in ’94. Weah also won the silver trophy the following year which was won by Brazilian striker Ronaldo.
African Player of the Year 1989, 1994 and 1995
Weah won the African player of the year in 1989 when he was with AS Monaco and 1995 with AC Milan. That year he won almost every award a footballer could win. When he won the award in 1989, it was his first major award and he took it back home for the entire country to celebrate, similar to what he did when he won the world best title and the Onze Mondial title. And was a great and wonder ful player at that time in the world of football.
European Player of the Year 1995
Weah won the European Player of the Year in 1995, becoming the only African to win the award. Sports writers from all over Europe voted and awarded Weah as the best player in Europe for the year.
Onze Mondial 1995
The French Magazine name Weah as the top player in Europe for 1995
Fifa Fair Play Award 1996
African Player of the Century
Weah was voted the African player of the Century by sport journalists from all around the world. This award puts Weah in the company of some of the greatest players to have ever played the game. Pelé won the same award as the South American player of the Century and Johan Cruijff as the European player of the century.
Weah was banned from six European matches for breaking the nose of the Portuguese defender Jorge Costa on November 20, 1996 in the players’ tunnel after AC Milan’s draw at FC Porto. Weah said he exploded in frustration after putting up with racist tauntings from Costa during both of the teams’ matches that autumn in the Champions League. Costa, who underwent facial surgery and was sidelined for three weeks, has avoided punishment by the UEFA. Despite the incident Weah still received the FIFA Fair Play Award in 1996.