efe-epaPaynesville, Liberia

The president of Liberia and former soccer legend George Weah was honored with the final retirement of his number 14 jersey, as seen in efe-epa photos released Wednesday.

The 51-year-old leader surprised fans by making a surprise appearance for Liberia in a friendly match against Nigeria on Monday, before receiving his jersey from the head of the Liberian soccer association, Mustapha Raji.

Weah, the only African footballer to win both the Ballon d'Or and the FIFA World Player of the Year awards, was a star for clubs such as AC Milan, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain before retiring from soccer in 2002 to launch a political career.

He ran in two successive Liberian presidential elections in 2005 and 2011, was elected senator in 2014, and contested the presidency again in 2017, winning a runoff presidential election in December by a landslide.

This marked Liberia's first democratic transition of power, as Weah replaced Nobel Peace Prize laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who was herself the first woman to be elected head of state of any African country.

Liberia continues to rebuild following nearly two decades of brutal civil war.