Former footballer George Opong Weah has been elected as the 25th president of Liberia.

The former FIFA World Player of the Year and Ballon d’Or winner replaces Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who was Africa’s first female head of state when she was elected in 2006.

Weah, who already held a political post as a senator, defeated Vice President Joseph Boakai in a landslide victory. He won 12 out of the 15 counties in the country.

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“I am deeply grateful to my family, my friends, and my loyal supporters who contributed to our campaign during this extremely long election season,” Weah said on Twitter before the results were announced.

After being declared winner, he wrote: “It is with deep emotion that I want to thank you, the Liberian people, for honoring me with your vote today. It is a great hope.”