'I'll have time to go if I'm suspended' - Wenger considers president Weah's inauguration invitation

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The Frenchman coached the newly-elected Liberia president when they were together at Monaco and lavished praise on his former star

Arsene Wenger spoke glowingly of former player George Weah following his election as Liberian president and confirmed that he has received an invitation to the inauguration.

Weah first made a mark on European football at Monaco, when Wenger signed him for the Ligue 1 side in 1988, winning the African Footballer of the Year award for the first time the next year and staying there until joining Paris Saint-Germain in 1992.

Although Weah left Wenger and Monaco, he often credited the manager with having a significant influence on his career, as he went on to play for AC Milan in 1995, becoming the first non-European player to win the Ballon d'Or later that year and establishing himself as one of the finest African footballers in history.

He took the road less travelled upon retirement, though, as he headed into politics and was successfully elected as the next Liberian president in December, with Wenger thrilled for the 51-year-old.

"I have been invited by George to come the day when he will be made president," Wenger told reporters on Friday.

"When you look at his life, the life of this guy is a real film. It can make a fantastic film.

"I remember seeing him for first time in Monaco, looking a bit lost, knowing no one, not being rated by anyone, but then becoming the best player in the world and today becoming president of his country.

"It's unbelievable. He was always strong mentally, convinced he was on a mission. I saw how much he suffered for his country during the war when he was at Monaco.

"He had such love and care for his people. I didn't think during that time that he'd become president, but I've seen him crying when there was war in Liberia.

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"It's a happy story and I hope he does well, he is an example to every footballer."

Wenger is doubtful that he will be able to attend the inauguration on January 22, though he did make a cheeky dig at the Football Association, as he has until 18:00 GMT on Friday to answer a charge of improper conduct which could result in a suspension.

"Maybe if I'm suspended I will have time to go," Wenger said to a chorus of laughter.

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