Alphonso Davies

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Alphonso Davies
Alphonso Davies 20190428 (cropped).jpg
Davies with Bayern Munich in 2019
Personal information
Full name Alphonso Boyle Davies
Date of birth (2000-11-02) November 2, 2000 (age 21)
Place of birth Buduburam, Ghana
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)[1]
Position(s) Left-back, winger
Club information
Current team
Bayern Munich
Number 19
Youth career
2005 Edmonton Internationals
2006–2014 Edmonton Strikers
2015–2016 Whitecaps FC Residency
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2016 Whitecaps FC 2 11 (2)
2016–2018 Vancouver Whitecaps FC 65 (8)
2018–2019 Bayern Munich II 6 (0)
2018– Bayern Munich 80 (5)
National team
2016 Canada U17 2 (1)
2016 Canada U20 1 (0)
2017– Canada 30 (10)
*Club domestic league appearances and goals, correct as of 15:28, May 14, 2022 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals, correct as of November 16, 2021

Alphonso Boyle Davies (born November 2, 2000)[2][3] is a Canadian professional soccer player who plays as a left-back or winger for Bundesliga club Bayern Munich and the Canada national team. He is regarded as one of the best full-backs in the world due to his pace, dribbling and creativity.[4][5]

Davies was the first player born in the 2000s to play in a Major League Soccer match. Davies joined Bayern in January 2019 from MLS side Vancouver Whitecaps FC on a contract lasting until 2023 for a then-MLS record transfer fee.[6][7] Davies was named the Bundesliga Rookie of the Season for 2019–20.[8] In that season he also was part of the team winning the continental treble after Bayern won the Bundesliga, the UEFA Champions League and the DFB-Pokal. He is considered by some to be the best left-back of his generation.[9][10]

In June 2017, Davies became the youngest player to appear for the Canadian men's national team.[11] By scoring two goals in a 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup match against French Guiana, he became the youngest player to score for the Canadian men's national team, the youngest to score at the CONCACAF Gold Cup, and first player born in the 2000s to score at a top level international tournament.[12] He would go on to be named the 2021 CONCACAF Men's Player of the Year.[13]

Davies is the first soccer player, and first Canadian, to become an ambassador for the United Nations refugee charity UNHCR.[14]

Early life[edit]

Davies was born to Liberian parents in Buduburam, a refugee camp in Ghana.[15][16] His father, Debeah Davies, and his mother, Victoria Davies, originally lived in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia.[17] They fled during the Second Liberian Civil War, which displaced more than 450,000 Liberians.[18][19] In 2005, the family emigrated to Canada, eventually relocating to Edmonton.[11][18] While in Edmonton, he joined a soccer accelerator program in Vancouver's University Hill Secondary School.[20] On June 6, 2017, he received Canadian citizenship;[21] until then he was a Liberian national.[18] Alphonso was the fourth youngest of six siblings.[22]

Davies attended the St Nicholas Catholic Junior High in the Edmonton Catholic School District. His school soccer teammate, Onesphore Hamis recalled, "Soccer was the thing he wanted to get into, but language was a problem."[23] His classmate and fellow Liberian immigrant, Chernoh Fahnbulleh recalled of Davies, "He spoke English but it was, like, broken English".[23]

As a child in Edmonton, Davies first played organized soccer with Free Footie, an after-school soccer league for inner-city elementary school students who cannot afford registration fees and equipment, or who lack transportation to games.[24]

After playing for Edmonton Internationals, and Edmonton Strikers, Davies joined the Whitecaps FC Residency in 2015 at the age of 14.[25][15][26]

Club career[edit]

Whitecaps FC 2[edit]

After joining Vancouver Whitecaps FC during their 2016 MLS preseason tour,[27] Davies signed with Whitecaps FC 2 in the USL on February 23, 2016.[28] At the time of his signing, he became the youngest player signed to a USL contract at 15 years, 3 months. Davies made his professional debut for Whitecaps FC 2 at the age of 15 years, 5 months in April 2016.[29] On May 15, 2016, he scored his first professional goal, making him the youngest goal scorer in USL history at 15 years, 6 months,[30] a record held by Davies until 2020. He scored two goals in 11 games played during the 2016 season.[31]

Vancouver Whitecaps FC[edit]

Davies was named to the Whitecaps roster for the 2016 Canadian Championship on a short-term contract.[32] On June 1, 2016, he made his first team debut in the first leg of the Canadian Championship against Ottawa Fury FC and started the second leg in Vancouver.[33]

On July 15, 2016, Davies signed a first team contract with the Whitecaps through 2018, with options for the 2019 and 2020 seasons. At the time of his signing, he was the youngest active player in Major League Soccer, and the third youngest player to have signed an MLS contract.[34] Davies made his MLS debut on July 16, 2016, becoming the second youngest player to play in MLS, behind Freddy Adu.[35] In September 2016, he scored his first goal for the first team in the 2016–17 CONCACAF Champions League against Sporting Kansas City in injury time to send the club through to the knockout round.[36] In September 2016, Davies became the second youngest starter in MLS history when he started a game against the Colorado Rapids.[37] On October 2, 2016, he started against rival club Seattle Sounders FC earning a penalty kick.[38] During the 2016 season, Davies played in eight MLS games,[39] four Canadian Championship games,[39] and three games in the CONCACAF Champions League.[40] In the 2017 season, he played in both legs against New York Red Bulls and Tigres UANL in the CONCACAF Champions League quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively, in which he scored in a 2–0 win over New York Red Bulls.[40]

Following his impressive early MLS appearances, Davies attracted interest and was scouted by European clubs including Manchester United, Chelsea, and Liverpool,[41] and was also named one of the 60 best young soccer talents in the world in 2017.[42] In the 2018 season opener against the Montreal Impact, Davies scored his first goal in MLS action, and assisted on a Kei Kamara goal.[43] On June 10, 2018, he scored a goal and got three assists in a 5–2 win over Orlando City.[44] Davies scored two goals and provided two assists to help his side defeat Minnesota United with a 4–2 victory on July 29.[45] On June 29, 2018, Davies was included in the MLS All-Star roster for the 2018 MLS All-Star Game on August 1 against Juventus.[46] Davies made an appearance during the match, which finished as a 3–5 penalty shoot-out loss following a 1–1 draw.[47] Davies was named the Vancouver Whitecaps FC Player of the Year on October 24,[48] and also received the Whitecaps' Goal of the Year award.[49] In Davies' final game for Vancouver on October 28, he scored both goals in a 2–1 victory over the Portland Timbers.[50]

Bayern Munich[edit]

2018–19: Vancouver to Munich[edit]

On July 25, 2018, Vancouver announced that it had agreed to a multi-million-dollar transfer of Davies to Bundesliga club Bayern Munich, with Davies seeing out the 2018 MLS season with Vancouver, before joining Bayern in January 2019.[51][52] The base fee for the transfer was US$13.5 million, with performance-related bonuses that total $22 million, a then-record for MLS,[7] later eclipsed by the transfer of Miguel Almirón to Newcastle United.[53] Davies had his first training session with Bayern on November 21, 2018,[54] and debuted on January 12, 2019, against Borussia Mönchengladbach in the Telekom Cup championship finale, which Bayern won on penalties following a scoreless draw.[55] Davies made his Bundesliga debut on January 27 against VfB Stuttgart, appearing as a late substitute for Kingsley Coman in a 3–1 victory.[56] He scored his first goal for Bayern on March 17, netting the final goal in a 6–0 rout of Mainz 05.[57] In doing so, and at the age of 18 years, 4 months and 15 days, he became the youngest player since Roque Santa Cruz, twenty years prior, to score for the club. He is the first Canadian international to score for Bayern.[58] On May 18, 2019, Davies won his first Bundesliga title as Bayern finished two points above Dortmund with 78 points. A week later, Davies won his first DFB-Pokal as Bayern defeated RB Leipzig 3–0 in the 2019 DFB-Pokal Final. Davies was not selected for the match day squad.[59]

2019–present: First team breakthrough and Champions League triumph[edit]

Davies playing for Bayern Munich in 2019

Davies made his first Bundesliga start with Bayern on matchday nine of the 2019–20 Bundesliga season, going the full 90 minutes in a 2–1 home victory over Union Berlin.[60] He made his first UEFA Champions League start on November 6, 2019, in a 2–0 victory against Olympiacos.[61] Throughout the 2019–20 season, coach Niko Kovač moved Davies to the left back position, following long-term injuries to Niklas Süle and Lucas Hernandez, to allow David Alaba to play at centre back.[62][63] Davies earned high praise during his time in that role, gaining an early reputation as one of the best left backs in the world.[64] On February 25, 2020, Davies set-up Robert Lewandowski's goal in a 3–0 away win over Chelsea in the first leg of the round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League; his performance during the match was widely praised in the media, with pundit Gary Lineker commenting that Davies played "beautifully," while former U.S. international Stuart Holden described him as a "world class left back."[65]

In April 2020, Bayern Munich and Davies agreed to a contract extension to 2025, adding two years onto his existing contract.[66]

Following the restart of the Bundesliga which had halted all matches due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Davies started against both Eintracht Frankfurt and Borussia Dortmund. He scored and assisted in the Frankfurt match and ended up running down Dortmund's Erling Haaland at a speed of 35.3 kilometres per hour (21.9 mph).[67] On June 16, 2020, Davies featured for Bayern against Werder Bremen in a game they won 1–0, securing Bayern Munich their eighth consecutive league title. Davies was sent off in the 79th minute for a second yellow card, but not before breaking the record for the fastest speed clocked in the Bundesliga at 36.51 kilometres per hour (22.69 mph).[68] Davies was named the Bundesliga Rookie of the Year for the 2019–20 season.[8] On August 14, 2020, Davies, who was playing the left-back position, was applauded for assisting Joshua Kimmich's goal against Barcelona in the Champions League quarter-finals which Bayern Munich won with an impressive final score of 8–2.[69] On August 23, he started in the Champions League final against Paris Saint-Germain, which Bayern won 1–0 to complete a continental treble;[70] consequently, Davies became the first Canadian men's international to win the Champions League.[71]

On October 24, Davies was forced off in the third minute of play in an eventual 5–0 home win over Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga, after sustaining an injury to his right ankle; it was later announced that he was expected to remain sidelined for 6 to 8 weeks.[72]

Davies finished in third place for the 2020 Golden Boy award, behind Erling Haaland and Ansu Fati.[73] On February 11, 2021, he played in a 1–0 win over Tigres UANL in the 2020 FIFA Club World Cup Final.[74]

On January 5, 2022, Davies tested positive for COVID-19,[75] prompting Bayern to do further tests and on January 14, it was revealed that he had developed mild myocarditis; he was unable to train with the rest of the Bayern squad.[76][77] Davies is fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and had received his booster shot in December 2021.[78]

International career[edit]

Youth[edit]

Although a Liberian citizen by birth, Davies was called to numerous Canadian under-15 and under-18 camps in 2014 and 2015.[3] On March 17, 2016, he was called up to the Canada under-20 squad for a friendly against England under-20.[79][80] In November 2016, Davies attended a Canadian under-17 camp, where he scored against Jamaica.[81] In 2016, he was named the Canada U17 Male Player of the Year for his performances with the under-17 and under-20 squads in friendlies.[82] In March 2017, Davies stated in an interview that, "to be able to represent Canada, it is one of my dreams."[83] In 2017, he was named the Canada under-17 Male Player of the Year for a second time due to his performances with the senior team.[84]

Senior[edit]

Davies playing for Canada in 2018

Born a Liberian refugee, Davies was originally only eligible for the Liberian national team.[85][86] On June 6, 2017, Davies passed his Canadian citizenship test and officially became a citizen of Canada, making him eligible to play for the Canadian national team.[21] On the same day, Davies was added to a senior team camp for a friendly against Curaçao,[87] as well as Canada's preliminary 40-man roster for the 2017 Gold Cup.[88] Davies would debut for the senior team in the friendly against Curaçao at the age of 16, making him the youngest player to play for the national team.[89] On June 27, Davies was named to the final 23-man squad for the 2017 Gold Cup.[90] In Canada's first match of that tournament, Davies scored twice in a 4–2 victory over French Guiana. The goals made him the youngest goalscorer in Gold Cup history.[91][92] He then scored in their second match against Costa Rica to earn a 1–1 draw.[93] Davies went on to win the Golden Boot as the tournament's top scorer, the Young Player of the Tournament award, and was included in the tournament's Best XI selection.[94]

On May 30, 2019, Davies was named to the squad for the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup.[95] Davies was called up for a pair of 2019–20 CONCACAF Nations League A matches against Cuba on September 7 and 10, 2019. In the second match, Davies scored the decisive goal in a 1–0 victory for Canada.[96] In October 2019, Davies would help lead Canada to their first win over the United States in 34 years, scoring the opening goal of their CONCACAF Nations League match, which ended 2–0.[97]

In July 2021, Davies was named to the Canada squad for the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup,[98] however he suffered an ankle injury on July 9, two days before Canada's opening match at the tournament, that ruled him out of the competition.[99] On October 13, 2021, in a World Cup qualifying match against Panama, Davies scored a highlight reel goal, making an 80-yard run to keep the ball in play, reaching a top speed of 37.1 km/h.[100][101]

Style of play[edit]

Although mainly playing as an attacking full back on the left flank, Davies is capable of playing as a wing-back, left midfielder, or winger due to his explosive pace, dribbling, creativity, and crossing ability. He is considered to be a highly promising young player in the media.[18][102]

Personal life[edit]

He was in a relationship with Canadian forward Jordyn Huitema of Paris Saint-Germain Women and the Canada women's national soccer team starting from September 2017.[103] In September 2019, he was fined €20,000 for arriving late to a Bayern practice after visiting Huitema in Paris,[104] and by June 2020, French press were aware that Davies might be interested in having Huitema sign with Bayern's women's side.[105] On May 22, 2022, Davies confirmed on social media that he and Huitema have split up.[106]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of May 14, 2022[31][39]
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League National Cup[a] Continental Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Whitecaps FC 2 2016 USL 11 2 0 0 11 2
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2016 MLS 8 0 4 0 3[b] 1 15 1
2017 MLS 26 0 2 2 4[b] 1 1[c] 0 33 3
2018 MLS 31 8 2 0 33 8
Total 65 8 8 2 7 2 1 0 81 12
Bayern Munich II 2018–19 Regionalliga Bayern 3 0 2[d] 0 5 0
2019–20 3. Liga 3 0 3 0
Total 6 0 2 0 8 0
Bayern Munich 2018–19 Bundesliga 6 1 0 0 0 0 6 1
2019–20 Bundesliga 29 3 5 0 8[e] 0 1[f] 0 43 3
2020–21 Bundesliga 23 1 2 0 6[e] 0 4[g] 0 35 1
2021–22 Bundesliga 22 0 1 0 7[e] 0 1[f] 0 31 0
Total 80 5 8 0 21 0 6 0 115 5
Career total 162 15 16 2 28 2 9 0 215 19
  1. ^ Includes Canadian Championship, DFB-Pokal
  2. ^ a b Appearances in CONCACAF Champions League
  3. ^ Appearance in MLS Cup Playoffs
  4. ^ Appearances in 3. Liga promotion play-offs
  5. ^ a b c Appearances in UEFA Champions League
  6. ^ a b Appearance in DFL-Supercup
  7. ^ One appearance in UEFA Super Cup, one appearance in DFL-Supercup, two appearances in FIFA Club World Cup

International[edit]

As of November 16, 2021[107]
Canada
Year Apps Goals
2017 6 3
2018 3 0
2019 8 2
2021 13 5
2022 0 0
Total 30 10

List of international goal scored by Alphonso Davies

As of October 13, 2021. Scores and results list Canada's goal tally first, score column indicates score after each Davies goal.[107]
No. Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 July 7, 2017 Red Bull Arena, Harrison, United States  French Guiana 3–0 4–2 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup
2 4–2
3 July 11, 2017 BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, United States  Costa Rica 1–0 1–1
4 September 10, 2019 Truman Bodden Sports Complex, George Town, Cayman Islands  Cuba 1–0 1–0 2019–20 CONCACAF Nations League A
5 October 15, 2019 BMO Field, Toronto, Canada  United States 1–0 2–0
6 March 29, 2021 IMG Academy, Bradenton, United States  Cayman Islands 4–0 11–0 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification
7 9–0
8 June 5, 2021  Aruba 5–0 7–0
9 June 8, 2021 SeatGeek Stadium, Bridgeview, United States  Suriname 1–0 4–0
10 October 13, 2021 BMO Field, Toronto, Canada  Panama 2–1 4–1

Honours[edit]

Bayern Munich

Individual

References[edit]

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