​Liberian legend George Weah, the only African to ever win the FIFA World Player of the Year award and Ballon d'Or, has hailed the impact Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger had on him as his mentor.

Wenger, as Monaco manager, took Weah under his wing in 1988, signing the budding talent from Cameroonian club Tonnerre Yaoundé and helping him become one of the world's best players.

"Every time I was going on the field," Weah told FIFA TV. "I was playing for Arsene Wenger.

"I wanted him to know that what he had done for me, this is the way I could pay him. I would break my knee, my hand, my face for him just to win the game.


"He took care of me like a son and I couldn't believe that because when racism was at its peak, Arsene taught me that black men and white men can live together."

Wenger is just of fond of his former pupil, admitting back in May, that the story of how he signed Weah was worthy of a book.

“It was an unbelievable story that would make a book in itself,” he ​said. “First I would to say that George was not only an exceptional player, George Weah was also a fantastic person and the story of how I brought him there was absolutely unbelievable.

“A friend of mine was working in Africa and I asked him whether he had seen any strikers. He recommended George Weah and I sent somebody over there to watch him. We brought him over for £50,000 and it took him a while to adapt, but he was ambitious, talented, had great hunger for work and I worked a lot with him.

“He became an absolutely unbelievable player. We still have a strong relationship and when he became World Player of the Year he gave me his award. Every manager was sitting in there - Capello, Lippi - and they were absolutely amazed that a player at his age was capable of that. He’s just a remarkable person."