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From Refugee to Champions League winner: The rise of Alphonso Davies

Alphonso Davies has not forgotten about his roots, from a refugee camp in the Gomoa East District of Ghana to playing football on the world’s largest stage.

(BONGARTS/Getty Images)

Early Life

Davies was born in Bududuram, Ghana, to Debeah and Victoria Davies on Nov. 2, 2000. He was born just after his parents fled Libia because of a civil war. When Davies was only five-years-old, he and his family moved from Ghana to Windsor, Ont. in 2006. One year later, Davies and his family settled down in Edmonton, spending most of his childhood.

At just 15-years-old, he signed with the Vancouver Whitecaps second team and made his United Soccer League (USL) debut on April 2, 2016. Davies made history in the USL by being the youngest player to record a goal in a match at just 15 years old. Which earned him a nod for USL rookie of the week. He would finish the season with two goals in 11 appearances.

He then signed a multi-year MLS contract in July of 2016, with the Vancouver Whitecaps first team being the third-youngest all-time player to do so. In his first year with the team, Davies started in nine of his 29 regular-season appearances. Over his three seasons with the Whitecaps Davies would make 81 appearances, potting 12 goals and 14 assists.

Taking the Next Step To Europe

After playing three seasons in the MLS with the Whitecaps, Bayern Munich the Bundesliga German giants signed Davies to an MLS record fee of $22 million. Davies was first assigned to the Bayern Munich second team and played eight matches with them, putting up two assists. After a short stint on FC Bayern II, he made his way up to the first team.

The Change in Position

In his first nine months with the Bayern Munich first team, Davies played left-wing and right-wing. He only played 11 games over that span. In September 2019, Davies decided along with the team that it was best to move him to the left-back position. He felt that it was easy to transition as he had been used to playing left-back during his time in Vancouver with the Whitecaps.

Davies transitioned to left-back and has played there since, recording three goals and 10 assists in 54 appearances. Davies has made an enormous impact with superb speed and talent as a well-balanced defender. He has helped Bayern stiffen up their defence against the top teams in Europe. Davies’ pace allows him to create attacks, push the ball far up the field, and be involved in several goals.

Winning it All

The 2019/2020 season for Bayern Munich was one to remember for the history books, not only for the team but also for Davies. Bayern won the treble for the first since 2013, by capturing the Bundesliga title, UEFA Champions League, DFP-Pokal. The team also won the UEFA Super Cup, DFL-Supercup and most recently the FIFA Club World Cup. A total of six titles to finish off a historic run of brilliance and pure show of skill. Davies capped off his 2020 season with him being named to FIFPro’s Best XI, an honour given to the best 11 footballers of the year.

Davies’ ceiling continues to rise as he further builds his skillset week in and week out. It’s going to be exciting to watch him continue to grow and develop year after year into a legend for the game of football.


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