Like Father, Like Son: Can Timothy Weah Become As Great As His Dad?
When your father is George Weah, you have massive shoes to fill.
The former A.C. Milan, Chelsea, PSG, and Monaco striker was the first African to ever win the Ballon d’Or and was universally loved by every fan of every club he played for. The Liberian international made history on the field and now, as he prepares to challenge for his country’s presidency for a second time, his 16-year-old might be following in his historic soccer footsteps.
Timothy Weah is the second son to the former African Footballer of the Year and is quickly becoming a viral sensation. Hell, he might be the next big hope for U.S. soccer. Yep, you read that right, while his father is a beloved Liberian, Timothy was born in New York City and plays for the USMNT U17 squad.
Timothy Weah’s Dad The Lion King
George Weah was a dominant figure in soccer in the 1990s. Picture the striking skill of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the speed of Jamie Vardy, and the skill of a Juventus-era Paul Pogba – it is no wonder he was considered the full package.
He played professionally for almost 20 years in his native Liberia, France, Italy, England, and eventually ended his career in the United Arab Emirates in 2003. He was crowned African Footballer of the Year three times, African Footballer of the Century, 1995 FIFA Player of the Year. While never winning the Champions League, he did play on squads that dominated domestic leagues and captained his country for international play.
Scoring almost 200 goals in his career, George Weah retired as an icon. His name still brings a smile to soccer fans who watched him play.
The father of three has seen two of his children enter the soccer world – George, Jr. and Timothy.
George Weah, Jr., who had a promising start developing in the A.C. Milan youth system, has played professionally in Switzerland, Bulgaria, and France. At 29, the biggest club he has played for was PSG II – their second division side. While he is his father’s namesake, he unfortunately, never lived up to his father’s legacy.
George Weah, Jr. was born in Liberia but was raised in the U.S., making him eligible for the USMNT. He showed promise as a young player when he was capped for the U20 team but never made it to the senior level.
While Weah’s daughter, Tita, is a student, the youngest of his kids, Timothy, is stirring the pot.
Unlike his brother when he was starting out, Timothy Weah has an ally on his side, allowing him to capture the world’s attention – the internet.
A year ago, Timothy WEah, the product of the PSG youth academy, became a viral sensation after he netted five goals in a single match against China’s Shanghai Greenland Shenhua in Qatar’s Al Kass International Cup in February 2016. The PSG front office was so impressed that they signed him to a two-year deal.
“I am very proud and very happy to see my son grow into this great club that is Paris Saint-Germain,” the proud father told the club’s official website in May. “I played here too of course, for me it is a great pride.”
As soccer fans around the world were left flabbergasted by Timothy’s moves and skill, it made U.S. fans all the more pleased as it was learned he is a member of the USMNT U17 squad.
As he dominates the French youth league, it is only inevitable that he will get a call-up to the senior PSG squad. As the club “struggles” this season (they sit in 2nd place in Ligue 1 behind Monaco), it might be in their best interest to promote him sooner rather than later.
The concern for Weah’s youngest spawn is that he could go the same route as his brother – started out with promise then quickly fell. However, if he keeps making landmark goals like he has been, it is going to be hard for someone like USMNT Bruce Arena or the PSG front office to overlook him in the coming months.
Nepotism or Straight Savage Skill?
The last few years has seen a slew of younger children of former greats stepping out of their old man’s respective shadows.
Enzo Zidane impressed at Real Madrid’s youth club and got a call-up to the senior side where his father, Zinedine, is manager. There is also Giovanni Simeone – the son of the great Diego Simeone. Unlike his Madrid rival, Diego Simeone’s son does not play on his team but for Genoa in Italy. There is talk that A.C. Milan is very interested in the rising star next season.
For Weah, Zidane, and Simeone, it is not nepotism that is alerting the masses to their children – it is their skill.
While many could argue that having the name of a legend doesn’t hurt, look at George Weah, Jr. or the son of the late great Johan Cruyff – Jordi — their careers on the field simply did not live up to their respective names.
As Timothy Weah continues to develop into his own player, the eyes of the world will be watching, and so far, he is delivering the excitement. As his father once did.