Timothy Weah: I want to become United States' greatest talent ever
United States and Paris Saint-Germain rising star Timothy Weah says he wants to become his country's greatest-ever footballing export.
In an interview with Nike, the talented 18-year-old admitted the road to making his senior debut with the French champions and at international level was rocky, but that he is determined to emerge from his famous father George Weah's shadow.
"There are people that said I will not be as good as my father," Timothy said of the elder Weah, who is a former Ballon d'Or winner and currently serves as Liberia's president. "That I am trash and asked why I am playing for the US. You know, that is just pushing me to be the star that my country has been looking for.
"My dream is eventually becoming the greatest talent to come out of the United States and New York, being a starter and playing for my country.
I'm working my butt off everyday to make sure people have my name on the tip of their tongue. I'm not here to joke around or waste time I want to put my city and country on the map and I won't stop until I'm "we're" at the top ..New York Builds Greats @NikeNYC @nike #justdoit pic.twitter.com/U7XYE2SKyk— TIM WEAH (@TimWeah) July 10, 2018
"I have done a lot to get here. I have faced a lot of people who said that I would always be in my father's shadow. I just take that, and I use that as a boost, because, as much as I love my father, I am trying to make a name for myself."
Weah, who is expected to feature more heavily for PSG this coming season under new coach Thomas Tuchel, confessed that there was a moment in his fledgling career where he felt that he was not up to the rigours of professional football.
"There was this point in my life where I thought that I was not fit enough to do a full 90 on the field. I got up at maybe six o'clock in the morning, went running, then just kept doing laps.
"After that, I scored a hat trick against Paraguay [at the 2017 under-17 World Cup in India] and I was like 'working hard really does pay off' -- I have been on my grind ever since."
Weah, who was born and raised in New York City, paid tribute to his hometown for shaping him as a person.
"Putting soccer aside, NYC is just one of those cities that builds people. It builds artists, basketball players, soccer players, into who they are today. I feel like New York built me -- it made my mindset really strong. I give props to New York for making that happen.
"Coming from NYC, I learned that with every hardship that you face, things are always going to get better once you put your mind to it. Confidence is key -- once you have that, you are unstoppable.
Weah featured in PSG's first preseason friendly on Wednesday, a 1-0 win over Sainte-Genevieve that was played behind closed doors at Camp des Loges.
Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.