Teen Weah reaping rewards of hard work

Teen Weah reaping rewards of hard work

Timothy Weah had a subdued Under-17 World Cup before stepping into the spotlight with a hat-trick against Paraguay on Monday.

Son of legendary footballer turned politician, George Weah, Tim showed he was ready to carry forward the legacy and hoped to get a starting role in Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in the future. He is in the reserves now.

Tim, who grew up in New York City, signed his first pro contract in July with PSG, where his Liberian father played from 1992-95. The Weah senior was considered to be one of the top African players of all time, and among the best strikers of his generation.

When asked about his chances in PSG, Tim, with the American flag draped around his neck, was optimistic but admitted it would take some time. “With hard work and dedication anything is possible,” he said.

“PSG have Neymar, Cavani and Kylian Mbappe leading the attack and they are doing very well. I would love to emulate them at the senior level. When I am ready and when the coach (Unai Emery) sees that I am ready, hopefully, I will be given a call-up to the first team.”

His three strikes swelled the US scoreline to 5-0 against Paraguay and fetched them a quarterfinal spot. The highlight of his performance was the gem of a goal, his second, when shifting gear to his left, he shimmied past his defender before unleashing a near perfect shot which crashed to the top corner of the net.

Recalling the moment, the left-winger said: “I cut to my right and then my striker instincts took over so I shot with my right foot. I don’t really score so many beautiful goals so I am really happy to get that tonight.

“I did not really change anything. I just listened to what the coach said. I continue to work hard for the team and whether the coach starts me in the match or brings me off the bench, I continue doing so.”

Tim could not get in touch with his father who is running for the President’s post in his native Liberia but got a text from his mother. “My mom texted me and asked me to get down on my knee and thank God because he is the reason for everything tonight,” he said.

With 34,895 fans cheering for the US, Tim admitted it felt like a home encounter.

“While coming out of the tunnel, before the match had started, I said to the players this is almost like we are back in the USA. The people here are amazing and even the kids are chanting our names,” he said.

“Paraguay are a very good team and your (crowd) support gave us a tremendous boost. We love India!”

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