Barely 19 years old, but the life story of Alphonso Davies reads like a book. The Canadian of Bayern Munich, who yesterday made a great ornament during the pulverization of Chelsea, saw the light of day in a refugee camp. “We dipped a few curry leaves in water, and there was soup. That’s what we ate,” his uncle described the miserable circumstances. Davies’ broad smile brought hope, and now the always cheerful Alphonso is one of the future stars of world football.
Enough excellence at Bayern, yesterday in the Champions League match against Chelsea. Robert Lewandowski and Serge Gnabry were a deadly duo, while Thomas Müller also showed that he is by no means worn out. But one man stood head and shoulders above it: Alphonso Davies.
Jumps – or was it hurdling? – on the assembly line, accurate crosses, and excellent defensive work. Pulisic, Chelsea got him for 64 million euros, could only accept so much supremacy on that flank, and say that Davies is actually a winger. “Honestly, it’s not my position. But I’m playing, that’s the important thing. And I get all the confidence of my teammates”, Davies looked back on the 0-3 with a big smile.
That enthusiasm and pleasure in everything he does characterize the 19-year-old Canadian. However, his start was not easy. Davies was born on November 2, 2000, in a Ghanaian refugee camp. His parents had just fled the civil war in Liberia as a result. “It was a hellish job every day just to stay alive,” father Debeah explained about that earlier on the website Bundesliga. “You had to carry weapons to survive, but we didn’t want that. In the end, we decided to escape to Ghana.”
Davies grew up there, although the living conditions were far from ideal. The whole family lived in a slum of no more than 15 square meters, crafted with plates and chicken wire. Dirty curtains kept the heat out. “Water, food, clothing: you needed money for everything, but we didn’t have that,” said Davies’ uncle Daniel Crotai Blawah. “We dipped a few leaves of curry in water, and there was soup. We ate that.”
When Davies was five, the whole family was able to emigrate to Canada. The circumstances were much better. While the parents worked day and night, Davies took care of his smaller brother and sister. “But whatever he did, it was always with that permanent smile on his face, dancing himself in the corridors of the school,” a former teacher said earlier. “And he was a natural in all sports.”
Thanks to Free Footie – a free after-school football competition for children whose parents cannot pay the registration fees, materials, and transportation to the accommodation, Davies started playing football. Sports coach Melissa Guzzo was immediately impressed. “From the first check, I knew: this boy has a gift.” The interest was immediate, and Davies joined St. Nicholas Soccer Academy. He went to the Vancouver Whitecaps via the Edmonton Strikers. “Until then, I only played football for fun. But on my 14th, I went to the Whitecaps. Then it was time to become a professional.”
His progression was so enormous that he made his debut in the MLS at the age of fifteen. After 68 games with seven goals and ten assists, he switched to Bayern for no less than 16.25 million euros at the age of seventeen last summer. Immediately the most expensive outgoing transfer from the MLS ever. “I am so grateful to my parents,” said Davies at the transition. “Life wasn’t easy at the time, but my parents brought our family to a safe country. If they hadn’t dared to leave that dangerous area, I could never have become a professional football player.”
At Manchester United, they now watch with members’ eyes. In January 2018, The Red Devils already had the talent of Davies in the wings. United invited him for a three-week internship. However, The Manchester Evening News knows that Davies was prevented from coming to England more than two years ago. At the same time, he was called up for a training internship at the Olympic Canadian football team. Moreover, he did not get permission from The Whitecaps to travel to Manchester. United ended up fishing behind the net.
Not only at Bayern, but also with the Canadian national team with their new star. The North Americans could not qualify for a World Cup since 1986. But now the future looks promising. Together with AA Gent seasoning and JPL top shooter Jonathan David, Davies is the hope of the Canadian people. “There is so much talent in Canada,” David explained earlier. At the age of sixteen, Davies became the youngest goalscorer ever in Canada and the first Canadian born in the 21st century to score in an international tournament.
Davies knows that he – and especially his parents – come from far. That is why he has a golden rule: keep smiling, keep enjoying. His TikTok account – the new craze – is extremely popular with 257,000 followers.