Celtic’s latest signing Timothy Weah has claimed having one of the most famous names in world football as his father is a blessing, not a burden.
The 18-year-old accepts that wherever he goes people will want to talk to him about his dad, the legendary George Weah, a star with some of the biggest clubs including Monaco, Paris St Germain, AC Milan, Chelsea, Manchester City, Marseille, and now president of his country, Liberia.
But while admitting his father has helped open doors for him, the youngster insisted he is determined to make his own way in the game, adamant joining Celtic on loan from PSG until the end of the season is a major step in helping him achieve that goal.
“It’s a blessing,” he said. “I would say it’s a blessing because for me as a player it pushes me to be better and to live up to that name.
“I feel like God blessed me with this name for a reason and it’s up to me to put two and two together to become the player I can be. It’s always going to come up but I don’t pay much attention to it. I try to keep a level head and not listen to what everyone else has to say, just to my parents.
“They say to play my own style of game and let people know who I am. Just fight for your spot and your opportunity and that’s what I’ve come to Celtic to do.
“I’d like to thank my father for opening the doors to so many opportunities. You know what he’s done in the past with his career and I’m now at a point where I have the bar set really high, so I just have to work and work and work until I get there. You will always have comparisons, but I’m really ambitious and feel anything is possible with hard work and dedication.
“Hopefully, one day I’ll get there. If I don’t, I’ll still 100 per cent know I gave it my all.”
Sitting in Celtic’s luxury hotel in Dubai, Weah, born in New York City, said: “People believed that I was fed with a silver spoon in my mouth but I fought for everything that I have. Going to BW Gottschee to Red Bull to PSG to Celtic, I fought for that. My dad is not on the field playing for me. I would say it’s determination. It’s hard, you know, having a father who’s done what he’s done. You have to be yourself and express yourself. Determination is what I need to use to come here to Celtic and prove myself and fight.
“I feel it’s the goal to be able to say that my father was who he was, but I was able to go through all that adversity with those who said I’d never do this and that. If I ever reach that world-class level, I’d be proud of myself and of my parents for getting me to that level. Right now, it’s a dream come true to have had the start I have. Now it’s about hard work and putting in all the extra training sessions my dad did when he was with Arsene Wenger and the extra work to become a good player.”