At a time when the legendary footballer George Weah is doing his best to help his native Liberia transit through political turmoil, and finally become the President, his son Timothy is one of three that are leading the African nation’s parent country’s attack at the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup in India.
New Delhi: At a time when the legendary footballer George Weah is doing his best to help his native Liberia transit through political turmoil, and finally become the President, his son Timothy is one of three that are leading the African nation’s parent country’s attack at the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup in India.
Speaking to the media before leaving for Mumbai, he says his father’s advice to him was, “Don’t think too much about a defeat or worry after a bad game, but play your game and do what you can to help the team.”
The youngster considered to be one of the better players at his age, says, “For me, personally there is no pressure of expectation about the comparisons with my father.” He adds, that it is more important to help the team win their matches.
The teenager is yet to find the back of the net in his first two outings in India, but hopes to do the needful to help his team go the distance in the tournament.
“It is hard to be away from the national team for long periods, come back and get the co-ordination and chemistry on the field going immediately for a young player,” he points out after an outing which he would feel could have been better.
Accustomed to any role in the attack line he says, “Sometimes when I do not have good game in attack, I am helping with defensive duties. There is a lot of progress still to be done.”
The 17 year old, makes it clear that like anyone at his age he does take care of his academics but he also likes his video games, especially FIFA 18 and where he plays with PSG or Arsenal, but does not have any interest in politics.
“The front three of Edinson Cavani, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe is the reason I like playing with PSG. Other than that, Arsenal have a very pacy team; so that makes it easier to play with.”
Just like his father did all the way back in the early 90s, the teenager is all set to don Paris Saint Germain colours after signing his first professional contract with them.
Tim acknowledges that there is a lot of development that his game needs to go through, “Don’t think I am quite there as yet to be part of the first team. I am part of the second team but hopefully can make my debut soon,” he adds.
As one would expect, the pair of strikers that is the father-son duo watch football together when they can. But, “we don’t talk football that much. We talk about how much video games I am playing and the food my mother might be cooking,” he says.
“I have learnt a whole lot from my father, he has been a massive influence in my game. The art of positioning and anticipation, which is extremely important, is something my father helped me a lot with.”
George Weah was considered to be one of the deadliest strikers during his playing days, and is the only African footballer to have won the prestigious Ballon D’or in 1995.
Tim, who dons the number 10 jersey for the USA U-17 football team, signed his first professional contract with PSG before he travelled halfway across the globe to come to India.
The youngest of the three children, Tim moved to France in 2014 when he joined the PSG academy at the age of 14.
“When I was younger, it was hard to get games even though I was good. But once a chance came by I made sure I did not miss out.”
He fondly recalls how in Europe fans were mesmarised by his father, and how when they both went to watch an Arsenal game, the Gunners fans’ wished George Weah had played for the London club.
“It is really cool to have a dad like that,” Tim concludes with a big smile before calling it a day on what is possibly his final evening in New Delhi on this trip.
The United States of America U-17 football team will play their final group stage match against Colombia at the DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai on October 12. The Americans led by Josh Sargent and coached by John Hackworth won their first two games and kept clean sheets in both; have all but qualified for the Round of 16.
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