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USMNT youngster Timothy Weah following in father George’s footsteps in Ligue 1 with Lille

Timothy Weah is loving life back on the pitch with Lille OSC right now with four goals and one assist from four starts across all competitions after returning from a lengthy injury absence to make an important contribution towards Les Dogues’ French title push.

Speaking during a Ligue 1 international press conference earlier this week, the 20-year-old reiterated his happiness following in the footsteps of his illustrious father George who became the only African player to win the Ballon d’Or after spells with Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain.

“As my dad played in France, everyone thought it would be less of an adjustment than Spain or Italy, for example,” he said. “It has worked so far, and I am having fun and speak French. It is my second home. My father has played a big role, but my mom drives me. I want to do great things too.

“Following in his footsteps is amazing and talking about him or being asked about him never ever gets old. I am proud of the way my dad paved the way for me and what he did coming from a third world country like Liberia back when there was nothing. I hope to keep making them proud.”

Weah, who joined PSG from New York Red Bulls before moving on to Lille in 2019 after a loan spell with Celtic, has been plagued by hamstring problems since moving to Stade Pierre Mauroy but now feels like he has left that behind him and is targeting a United States men’s national team return under Gregg Berhalter.

“The injury was tough,” he admitted. “My first real injury. Then there was the relapse and we decided to do surgery and take time off to really get back to my PSG level fitness. We got there, thanks to Patrick in New York — one of the best trainers. I keep in contact with USMNT and Gregg — he regularly texts to encourage me — hopefully my performances get me a spot.”

On the topic of the USMNT, Weah spoke glowingly about the tight relationships between the squad members and his delight at seeing the likes of Christian Pulisic, Sergino Dest and Tyler Adams succeeding at the highest level in the UEFA Champions League.

“Everyone is so happy for each other,” the Brooklyn native said. “Christian at Chelsea, Sergino at Barca. Tyler and those guys. It is amazing that Tyler and I came from Red Bull in MLS to Europe. The soccer is going to be amazing the more we gel and play at club level and hopefully we can bring a cup home in the future.”

With so many USMNT newcomers moving to Europe in January as the likes of Bryan Reynolds, Mark McKenzie and Brenden Aaronson all left MLS, Weah has some words of advice for his compatriots as they adapt.

“I would say stay strong,” he responded to CBS Sports. “Make sacrifices. It will put you on the map. Be yourself and show what you can do.”

Going back to Lille who top Ligue 1 going into this weekend under the leadership of Christoph Galtier, Weah was full of praise for the Frenchman who is establishing a reputation as one of the best tacticians in Europe.

“The coach has an amazing game plan and loves to attack,” he said. “His football is based on teamwork and what you can do for the team. He is one of the best I have ever worked with and one of the best in the world, for me. He is like a father figure — you cannot ask for better.

“This is a great group of young guys. We are all super hungry. Even Renato (Sanches), who was at Bayern, he wanted to start over here. We feel great and everyone is hungry.”

Finally, CBS’ own Aaron West posed a question to Weah of his fashion and off-field image, which delighted the LOSC man.

“Shout out to Aaron!” he told CBS Sports. “Yeah, fashion plays a huge part in my life. I like to look nice and I love sneakers — I am a massive sneakerhead. Fashion is huge, especially growing up in Paris and my dad loved it too. Growing up in New York it was also big — I take pride in my fashion and my kicks.”

However, one thing that will always win Stateside over France is the music: “American hip hop — always.”




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