Timothy Weah: 'Kind of a culture shock'

Currently on holidays in the USA, Timothy Weah dropped into the Paris Saint-Germain Academy in New York this week. The 18-year-old striker, who made his first appearances for the senior team this season, spoke to us about an exciting past few months that also included earning his first cap for the USA.

Timothy, how was your first season with the senior squad?
"I played with the second team. I put a lot of work in. Training hard every day, listening to coaches. It really paid off one day. I got the call up. My second tram coach told me 'Tim, you're going to go train with the first team'. That was literally a day before one of our games against Troyes. I went into training and did what I had to do. The coach called me into the locker and he was like 'Tim you're coming with us. Just be confident, don't stress yourself, play your game, and listen to the guys'. And that was really one of the most important messages the coach has given me with my professional career and I want to say thank you to Unai Emery."

Was adjusting to the rhythm of the senior squad tough? 
"The first couple weeks were super-intense. It was kind of a culture shock for me, because I was used to playing with guys my age. Playing with regular speed. But when I got shot up to the first team, I'm playing with Cavani and Mbappé, and those are guys I looked up to. And the speed of play just went from that to that immediately. And it was kind of a shock to me. But the week after, I got the hang of it and it was like I was one of the boys. They're a lovely group. They brought me in and accepted me. They welcomed me to the team and when we're not on the field we laugh a lot and we play around."

What are your objectives for the future? 
"With my father being the first African player to win the Ballon D'Or, it has pushed the bar really high. But the sky is the limit for me. I feel like I can do anything I put my mind to. Once I work hard, and that's my goal, to potentially be the first American Ballon D'Or winner. People might say, he's just talking. But at the end of the day it's about me putting in the work at training and on the field. And I feel that as I'm getting older, my level of play is really developing. Now that I'm with Neymar and Mbappé, I see what they do at training, I see what they're doing in games. So I just try to add that to my game and go out there and show what I can do."

The 2018 World Cup in Russia is on at the moment. Who is your tip to win it?
"To be honest with you, I feel that all five teams that my teammates are on: Belgium, France, Argentina, Brazil, I feel like they have the potential to win the World Cup. So if either team wins, I'm super-happy because my teammate is on this team. I'm just voting for the best team to win. I personally want France to win because I do have a French passport and I'm playing in France. And some of the young guys I play with are from France and I hope they can bring home a World Cup. They're a group of young guys. It's like the old Ajax team. When they went to win the Champions League with all young guys. It's amazing to see that with France and I love them and wish them the best."