George Weah, gets a USA World Cup call-up, proving again that he made the right choice
Timothy Weah, the son of Liberian football legend and incumbent president George Weah, gets a USA World Cup call-up, proving again that he made the right choice.
It’s very unusual for the son of a nation’s president to play football professionally, but Timothy Weah is no ordinary president’s son. He’s also the son of arguably the greatest footballer to come out of Africa and the only African player to ever win the Ballon d’Or.
So it’s all the more surprising that someone with that much African football heritage would choose to represent another country.
This, however, is what Timothy Weah has chosen to do, and given the fact that he is getting to play on the world’s biggest national stage, something his father never achieved, not many people can argue that he has made the wrong decision.
Despite being one of the finest players of his generation and representing the Liberian national team on at least 75 occasions, George Weah never got the chance to play at a World Cup, but Timothy, with only a third of his father’s national caps, is going to play at his first one.
It has always been planned that way for the 22-year-old Brooklyn-born Lille winger. Despite his family’s prominence in Liberia, he has always known he would play for the country of his birth, and with good reason.
He and his brother, George Weah Jr., have both represented the United States at different levels, although he is the more established player of the two.
It has always been the best decision for him, and according to the man himself, the only decision he ever considered.
He was eligible to play for France, Jamaica, Liberia, and the USA, but ultimately chose the path of least resistance to a rewarding national team career.
The French team has always been heavily stacked, especially in the positions that Weah plays, which currently has Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele, Kingsley Coman, and Christopher Nkunku vying for spots on the team.
It would have been difficult for him to compete regularly with these guys for a spot on the team, unlike the USA team, which has considered him an important player since under-15 level.
The other countries would have held him in similar regard, but neither could provide as much chance for international success as the USA.
Both Jamaica and Liberia managed only one World Cup appearance between them when Jamaica reached the group stage in France in 1998, two years before Timothy was even born.
When you also consider that he was born, and grew up in the USA, it becomes clear just how easy the choice must have been for him.
It is not unheard of for descendants of ex African players to represent foreign countries
For example, Leroy Sane, the son of Senegalese defender Souleyman Sané, will be at the World Cup with Germany, while Anthony Elanga, the son of Joseph Elanga, who was with the Cameroonian squad in 1998, only narrowly missed out on being at the World Cup with Sweden after they failed to qualify.
There wasn’t as much uproar when Sane and Elanga decided to “betray their heritage,” but then again, some might argue that these other players were not in the same standing as George Weah, and certainly none has ruled the nation.
It should, however, be noted that his father has already faithfully served his nation in more than one capacity, and Timothy shouldn’t be expected to do the same just because.
What would you have done if you were in Timothy Weah’s shoes? be encumbered, like his father, by a national team with very faint hopes of reaching a major final, much less a World Cup? Is there really any pride in that?