Famous father: US boy Timothy Weah steps out of George Weah’s shadow

  • Portrait of US international Timothy Weah
  • Timothy Weah talks about his father, world footballer George Weah
  • Outside of football, Timothy Weah loves fashion and produces music

Following in the footsteps of “King George” is certainly not an easy legacy. Not only (the late, great) Queen Elizabeth II knew that, Timothy Weah, offensive all-rounder of OSC Lille and the US national team, also knows that. Because his father George is not only the current president of Liberia, but also world footballer of the year 1995 and Africa’s footballer of the century.

For son Timothy, however, he is simply “Dad”: “I never saw him as a celebrity or a legend, only as my dad.” Weah told Sports Illustrated that he didn’t even know his father was a soccer star until he was nine or ten, only wondering why he was always being asked for autographs and photos in the mall. “Then, of course, at some point I watched videos and started paying closer attention to the photos in the house.” Then he knew: his dad is the football idol of an entire continent.

But his life has always taken place in the USA. Timothy Weah was born on February 22, 2000 in New York. There, and at times also in Florida, he grew up. And it was probably his genetic code, the magnetism that football exerts on every Weah, that ultimately brought Timothy – who also played on basketball and American football teams in his childhood – to football in the end. “It was just something I was attracted to. In my family it’s what we do. We’re all footballers.”

Timothy Weah: “I’m thankful for my parents”

Fact: Because in addition to Timothy not only father George, but also Timothy’s 13 year older brother George Jr. played professionally. However, it was not one of the two Georges who taught Timothy the ABC of football, but the women in the Weah family: “When we lived in Florida, my mother and my sister were my first coaches.” But neither Timothy’s Jamaican mother, Clar, nor father, George (“My Dad Was Just Relaxed”) pushed anything. “I could choose what sport I wanted to play. I guess football was the right choice. And look where I am today. All I can say is that I am blessed and grateful for my parents who put me on the right path brought.”

His path led from the youth academy of the New York Red Bulls at the age of 14 to a club with which his father once celebrated great success: Paris Saint-Germain. He made his Ligue 1 debut there in 2018. “My time at PSG was incredible. It was great to play and win trophies with players like Neymar, Mbappé and all these other big names,” says Weah.

In early 2019, after few appearances but some title wins with PSG – including two championships – young Weah stepped out of his father’s footsteps and forged his own path. He finally led via Celtic Glasgow to OSC Lille, where in the 2020/21 season he was an essential part of the team that sensationally won Ligue 1, almost as a Gallic village against the star-studded superiority of the capital. “Nobody believed in us. But within the group – the squad, the coaching staff and the staff behind us – we always knew we could win the title. If we look at this team, it was a real brotherhood .”

But Timothy Weah doesn’t want to know anything about a footballing emancipation from his father through this title. “I will always be George Weah’s son. I will always represent his name as well. It was just good to add another medal to our two collections.”

Timothy Weah on Dad George: “He’s got his ‘Swagger’, I’ve got mine”

However: Even if Weah says about his playing style that he inherited many of his skills – “speed, technique, the ability to score goals” – from his father, he also believes: “We both have our own flavor (original sound: ‘ our own sauce’). He has his ‘Swagger’ and I have my ‘Swagger’.”

And if one thing is certain, it’s that Timothy Weah owns “Swagger” (colloquially: casual cool). He says: “We’re the new generation and I think we should be creative and allowed to express ourselves on and off the pitch.” In fashion, he takes his cues from streetwear gurus like Jerry Lorenzo, and the music he produces with a pal has been featured in a commercial for his outfitter New Balance. His style: R’n’B, pop, hip-hop – “we just do what we feel, whatever the energy, the vibe.”

He plans to release his music after representing the US boys at the upcoming World Cup – something his famous father has always been denied.

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