One week before the new Bundesliga soccer season gets underway in Germany, Canadian soccer star Alphonso Davies told reporters he’s working on getting even better for his Bayern Munich team, which last year captured the German league championship as well as the German cup and the UEFA Champions League title.
“Each game I just try to do my best.”
Davies’ best has everyone in the soccer world watching, especially on several magical plays in this year’s Champions League match against FC Barcelona, where the lightning fast 19-year-old took to the pitch to play against his childhood idol Lionel Messi.
“Obviously Messi is one of the best players in the world, if not the best player in the world,” the Edmonton-raised soccer player said. “Looking up to him when you’re young and now playing against him, it was very nerve-racking for me — especially when he would come up on my side, my heart would be beating faster and faster.
“Me going up against him was just a dream come true.”
Davies, who has transitioned from being a winger to a left-back, says he is still working to get better at his position, even though some have said he may be the best left-back on the planet right now.
Davies’ speed on the pitch has mesmerized fans and he acknowledges it’s a big part of his game.
Davies said the massive success he and his teammates had this past season is still sinking in.
“I still can’t believe all this is happening,” he said, adding that coming to Germany to play for one of the world’s most respected soccer teams has helped him to elevate his game.
“When I first came to Germany… I knew the quality of players they have on this team,” he said. “I was just trying to prove myself, trying to show that I’m able to win at this level.”
Davies said despite all the achievements, it’s also been a tough year in some ways with soccer and now the COVID-19 pandemic making it difficult to see his family in Canada.
“It’s tough,” he said. “I haven’t seen my family in I think about eight months now.
“Right now, I’m not sure when I’m going to go back.”
Davies said he not only longs to see his family but also just to be back in Alberta’s capital.
“Obviously I grew up there — it’s home to me,” he said. “Being back would just be a great moment for me especially after everything that’s going on with my career.”
While it is not yet known when Canada will play its next World Cup qualifiers, Davies expressed confidence in the national side and sounded eager to try and bring Canada back to a tournament it hasn’t taken part in since 1986.
“I definitely see this team, the Canadian national team, definitely fighting for a spot in the 2022 World Cup,” he said. “I think we have great qualities on the team.
“It would be amazing for everyone, not just for the team, but for the whole country as well.”
Before coming to Canada, Davies was born in a refugee camp in Ghana after his parents fled civil war in Liberia. Since then, he has been a vocal advocate for refugees and collaborated with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to raise awareness about various issues.
“I’m happy to be part of the organization (UNHCR),” he said. “They helped me and my family immigrate to Canada and I just want to share my story with the world, and them being by my side is a good thing trying to spread awareness of what’s going on around the world with refugees.
“Given the opportunity, they can be something really special.”