Living the Legacy: The Tim Weah Story

MONROVIA – The name Timothy Weah has been trending globally since it was announced recently that he would form part of the National Men’s soccer team to represent the United States of America in Dubai for the upcoming World Cup soccer derby. Just last week, a major UK print media used his story as one of its main headlines, comparing his feat to that of his famous soccer dad George Weah who conquered the world at his feet, but never had the opportunity of representing his country Liberia at the World Cup. In a matter of days, Timothy Weah will be flying the flag of the United States of America at the World Cup, and in the stands his proud parents, Liberia President George Manneh Weah and First Lady Clar Weah will be rooting for their son.

In a few days, the feat of this extraordinary young man will mean more, not only to his country of birth, the United States of America, but to millions of Liberians from his fatherland Liberia, who will also be rooting for the younger version of “King George” for braving the storm through tenacity, resilience and fortitude to carry the torch that his father once lit when he dazzled the world to become Africa Best, Europe Best and the World Best soccer player ever on planet Earth without his country ever setting foot at the World Cup. As The Analyst reports, Tim Weah has opened up about what drives and compels him to succeed in his soccer career.

In his own words, Timothy (Tim) Weah believes he has a destiny to fulfill to honor his parents who sacrificed a lot to make him successful today. More than that, Tim believes he is exceedingly blessed to be from the renowned Kru stock of warriors from Liberia who fought against the cross-Atlantic slave trade; a proud alienage that his father George Weah took with him when he left Liberia to ply his soccer career in Europe.

“My last name holds a lot of heritage behind it, has a lot of history. I am from the Kru tribe in Liberia. It was a bunch of warriors that set up against slavery. That means that my family is basically built out of perseverance and fight, and that’s what my dad displayed when he started his journey coming from Africa and going to Europe and becoming the player that he became,” Tim said.

Narrating his own star-studded upbringing, Tim would reveal how, growing up, he would be amazed and awestruck when people that he didn’t know stopped his dad in malls begging to be photographed with him.

“We were walking in the mall and somebody stopped my dad and asked him for photos, and I was like: ‘why is this guy coming over to the dad and asking him for photo?’ You know, at that age you never really realize what he’s done and all of his accomplishments. That same day I went on the Internet and started reading, and found out that my dad was one of the greatest players that ever played the game,” Tim stated.

Honoring his parents

Every child’s dream is to use their parents as role models to chart their own path to success. According to Tim, George and Clar Weah are his two role models in life, so he can only repay them by becoming highly successful in his soccer career. That way, he will be giving George and Clar their well-deserved flowers for being parents from very humble backgrounds, from two different cultures, who struggled to make him into the man he is today.

“Parents don’t get enough credit for the things that they do. I want to give my mother, my dad their flowers while I can. Having two parents that came from nothing, from countries that weren’t properly developed, it’s amazing to see how far they’ve come. That pushes me, and makes me want to continue doing it for them. That’s why I am in the position that I am, because through thick and thin, they’ve kept me on the right path, and I needed them in order to get to where I am today.

 “Watching my dad, things that he did with his career, and coming back home to help his people and becoming president; there’s not much people that can do that. To see your dad who is a black man have so much success and want to give back to his people is amazing.

“My mother is Jamaican and my dad is Liberian, and I grew up in the States my whole life. My mother came from nothing, had to fight for everything, even just to have some food on the table for everyone; seeing what she’s accomplished and seeing the goals she’s achieved now, it’s amazing, because she made me to be the best that I can be.

“My mom was my first coach, my intramural coach. The first time I learned the game was from my mother. My mother was definitely doing that, the one that started everything for me. As a young mom, you have goals and aspirations. My mom was sacrificing her life in order to take me to practice every day, pick me from school; whenever I needed to go to California, that’s across the map, taking me there to play games,” Tim Weah stated proudly.

Born February 22, 2000, Timothy Tarpeh Weah is an American professional soccer player who plays as a winger for Ligue 1 club Lille and the United States national team. He is the son of former professional soccer player, Ballon d’Or winner, and President of Liberia, George Weah. In March 2018, he made his senior debut for Paris Saint-Germain and earned his first senior international cap for the United States.

He has two older siblings, George Jr. and Tita. He spent his early life in Brooklyn, Valley Stream, New York and Pembroke Pines, Florida. Weah is fluent in English and French and enjoys producing trap soul music.

To his credit, Tim has scored a total of 18 career goals spanning 2017 to 2022 while playing for Paris St. Germain’s fourth tier Championnat National 2 and the prestigious Ligue 1; Celtic, in the Scottish premiership league while on loan; and Lille in the top flight French Ligue 1.

His father George Manneh Weah spent 14 years playing for clubs in France, Italy and England. Arsène Wenger first brought him to Europe, signing him for Monaco in 1988. Weah moved to Paris Saint-Germain in 1992 where they won the Ligue 1 in 1994 and became the top scorer of the 1994–95 UEFA Champions League. He signed for AC Milan in 1995 where he spent four successful seasons, winning the Serie A twice.

He moved to the Premier League towards the end of his career and had spells at Chelsea and Manchester City, winning the FA Cup at the former, before returning to France to play for Marseille in 2001. He ended his career with Al Jazira in 2003. FourFourTwo named Weah one of the best players never to win the UEFA Champions League.

Weah represented Liberia at international level, winning 75 caps and scoring 18 goals for his country and playing at the African Cup of Nations on two occasions. He also played an international friendly in 2018, where his number 14 jersey was retired. Regarded as one of the best players never to have played at the World Cup, Scott Murray in The Guardian refers to Weah as “hamstrung by hailing from a global minnow”.

Widely regarded as one of the greatest African players of all time, in 1995, Weah was named FIFA World Player of the Year and won the Ballon d’Or, becoming the first and only player to win these awards while representing an African country internationally. In 1989, 1994 and 1995, he was also named the African Footballer of the Year, and in 1996, he was named African Player of the Century. Known for his acceleration, speed, and dribbling ability, in addition to his goal scoring and finishing, Weah was described by FIFA as “the precursor of the multi-functional strikers of today”.

In 2004, he was named by Pelé in the FIFA 100 list of the world’s greatest living players.

The greatest Africa, Europe, World Best soccer player who never played for his country in the World Cup will be in the stands in Dubai, watching and cheering on his younger version, Tim Weah, fulfilling his legacy.

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