FIFA U-17 World Cup: Weah Jr Lights Up Capital Ahead of Diwali, Announces Arrival
When Tim Weah scored his second goal against Paraguay at the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup with a finish that was right out of the top drawer, it spoke volumes of his class and why Paris Saint Germain rated him so highly. There is also the small matter of the genes – he is the son of the legendary striker George Weah; and that football flows in the blood was clearly evident.
Weah in action against Paraguay. (Twitter/FIFA)
New Delhi: When Tim Weah scored his second goal against Paraguay at the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup with a finish that was right out of the top drawer, it spoke volumes of his class and why Paris Saint Germain rated him so highly. There is also the small matter of the genes – he is the son of the legendary striker George Weah; and that football flows in the blood was clearly evident.
A short while after that USA’s number 10 was to complete the simplest of tap-ins to register his first hat-trick for the national team, and a first hat-trick by a USA player in the knockout stages of men’s or youth World Cup.
Quite the achievement for the 17 year old forward, and particularly well timed after the US Senior Men’s Team failed to make it to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
"I don't score a lot of beautiful goals so today it was really special. But, it could not have come without the beautiful assist from Carleton and the run that Gloster made", Weah said after the match.
“When I cut in on my right foot, my instincts told me to take a shot, and I did. It turned out to be a great strike and I really enjoyed it,” Weah recounted the very Thierry Henry like goal. “It was a one-in-a-million shot I think.”
Tim along with his captain Josh Sargent were considered to be the wonder kids who would light up this World Cup, and even though he has come to the party, three games late, the young forward will be raring to have a go in the future matches after he helped is team make it to the final eight of the tournament for the first time in 12 years.
USA coach John Hackworth is mighty pleased with the young boy, having already praised his young forward on numerous occasions previously, he added, “His second goal against Paraguay was not just good, it was World Class. This young man is a fantastic footballer and an absolute joy to coach.”
“He has the potential to become a world class footballer as he evolves.”
Tim recently signed his first professional contract with PSG at the age of 17 after having moved out of the comforts of his New York home and joined their academy in 2014.
Weah is admittedly a fan of the strike force in the senior team at his club. The likes of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani are fantastic players and the youngster feels it would be an honour to play alongside them. “Hopefully before the end of the season I will find my way into the first team. But the guys are just amazing, even at practice they are doing all sorts of things and it would be an amazing experience to get play with them.”
A musician when he is not playing football, studying or scoring a few screamers on the new FIFA 18 game, Weah Jr has already recorded six songs and the Trap Soul artist is keen on being able to produce his own music and his own studios some day in both New York and Liberia.
Right after the game the dutiful son informed his mother about what had happened, but had not yet been able to connect with his father who is in Liberia for the Presidential elections.
“My mother is extremely proud of the result and my performance. She also told me to get down on my knees and thank the Almighty in prayer.”
The young boy, as one would expect is very close to his family; his mother helps him keep him grounded, his father he says has taught him a lot.
Just before he had left New Delhi for Mumbai to play Colombia, a game he did not start, Weah remarked, “My father has had an immense influence on my game. He has taught me the art of anticipation and that is a very important aspect of the game.”
The result of that time and effort from back in the day resulted in two of his three goals so far at the tournament. Tim may not be as deadly a striker as Africa’s only Ballon D’Or and FIFA Player of the Year winner, but he has the potential to strike fear in the minds of the opposition defences.
More than his performances on a day to day basis or the defenders he faces up to, the one thing that the young forward is unlikely to be able to shake off are the multiple comparisons to his father. Not only has he patiently waltzed past those comparisons but he has also done his bit to help his team secure the results.
The youngest son of the family who is well aware of the expectations on him, also has an eye on what is happening in Liberia, a colony of the US where his father is running for Presidency.
“As far as Liberia is concerned, or any African country at this stage, they are all going through the process of development. With my dad running for Presidency, it will help the people a lot. He really loves his people,” Timothy says.
“I am really happy and proud of him. He has taken the right step to build his country.”
George Weah, on his day was considered to be one of the deadliest strikers in the game. Named by Pele in FIFA 100 list of the world's greatest living players, the AC Milan legend, is a self-confessed Juventus fan.
Tim is intent on paving his own road to glory and he is using the World Cup and New Delhi as the platform to begin the process of stepping out of his father’s shadow.
The first thought in our heads when we entered the tunnel was that we were back home. Thank You for backing us", Tim says about the exuberant Delhi crowd who were very vocal in their support for the USA.
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