George Weah’s son, Timothy Weah says he is not living in his father’s shadow and he’s not under pressure to be as good as the Liberian football legend.
Born in New York 17 years ago, Timothy revealed the kind of advice he received from his father just before starring for the United States at the ongoing U17 FIFA World Cup in India.
Although his father failed to play at the World Cup, Timothy says he is not overwhelmed by the prospect of following in his famous father’s footsteps and that he can only profit from the situation.
The Paris St Germain player has helped the US to the quarter-finals of the youth tournament after a hat-trick in a 5-0 victory over Paraguay in the Last 16 on Monday.
“I just use it as an advantage,” he told BBC Sport.
“My dad was a great player and it’s up to me to be the best that I can be – even if I don’t make it to that extent.
“I’m still going to try to be one of the best players to play the game. Following in my father’s footsteps is not a big deal to me.
“I talk to him nearly every night (in India) and he gives a little word of encouragement.
“He told me to just play my game and be myself – that is the most important thing,” explained Tim.
“He just said: ‘Be free, you have nothing to prove, just prove that you are the best player and you will have a bright future.”
In 1995 Weah was the recipient of numerous individual awards: he won the Ballon d’Or, the Onze d’Or, and was named FIFA World Player of the Year, becoming the first and, currently, only native African player ever to win these awards; Weah dedicated his FIFA World Player of the Year victory to his former manager, Arsène Wenger, stating that it was he developed him into a world class player. That year, Weah also won the African Player of the Year Award for the third time in his career, and was won the Onze de Onze by the French football magazine Onze Mondial. In 1996, Weah finished second in the FIFA World Player of the Year ranking; he was also the recipient of the FIFA Fair Play Award, and was voted the African Player of the Century by sport journalists across the globe. Century.