Although Tim Weah has yet to secure a regular position in Paris Saint-Germain’s rotation, he is certainly not lacking ambition. In a recent interview with Nike.com, the American attacker described his dream to be “the best talent to come out of the United States and New York” in addition to “being a starter” and “playing for [his] 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
These comments come on the heels of an interview with PSG’s official website where he stated his goal to be the first American to win the Ballon d’Or. This annual award – not to be confused with the FIFA World Player of the Year – is presented by France Football and was most recently claimed by Cristiano Ronaldo for the fifth time.
Ambition and expectations are difficult subjects for American soccer fans. While it’s desirable (and possibly too infrequent) for players to push themselves at the biggest clubs, there’s a hesitance to place too much hype on any emerging player in the talent pool. That aside, it’s refreshing to see the newest generation setting big goals and playing fearless soccer, seemingly free of the burden of any past setbacks.
Weah’s road to greatness and a future Ballon d’Or starts at the club level, where he has to impress new manager Thomas Tuchel. PSG opened its preseason on Wednesday against Sainte-Geneviève Sports. Weah started and played 75 minute in the 1-0 win.
Tuchel has a reputation for giving chances to young players, which bodes well for the 18-year old New York City-native. Weah made three Ligue 1 appearances last season and received sporadic praise from his former manager Unai Emery. However, playing time can be hard to come by at a super club, particularly one stacked with attacking talent. Perhaps there’s a loan in his future, but even training against the best and featuring in reserve and cup matches (in this case, the Coupe de France and the Coupe de la Ligue) can provide suitable development for a young player.
Despite his youth, Weah should also be a key figure for the U.S. national team as it attempts to move past the failed qualifying campaign for the 2018 World Cup. He recently made his senior debut in March’s 1-0 win over Paraguay, and scored his first goal in May’s win 3-0 against Bolivia.