The path that Alphonso Davies has taken to land at Bayern Munich is not often seen for an unassuming kid from North America.
At this time last year, the former Vancouver Whitecaps star was considered a Canadian phenom with vast potential. Now, however, Davies finds himself a member of one of the most powerful soccer clubs in the world and in a position where he is expected to evolve into a building block for the team’s future.
Sitting down with Sports Illustrated, Davies talked over how he ended up in this position and spoke about some of the advice he’s received since arriving in Munich. Davies talked about the sacrifices and chances that his family took to emigrate from Ghana to Canada and how their efforts have motivated him:
I’m very grateful for everything they’ve gone through to bring their family to a safe environment and for their kids to have opportunities to be something in the world. When I signed for Vancouver, it was funny because my mom didn’t really want me to move away. She was concerned about all my schooling. But when she let me go [to Vancouver] I was over the moon. I just wanted to make her proud. Every day that I go to training I remember that, and that motivates me to play at the top level I’m able to play.
From previous reports, we know that Davies has been taking German classes since November to help with his transition to Germany and also that Davies has been well-received by his teammates on the field. Off the field, however, Davies has taken to showing off his video game skills against his teammates and has also gained some knowledge from Kingsley Coman, who went through the process of starting a career with Bayern just a few years ago.
Coman emphasized that Davies needs to remain confident and take chances:
On my second day there, I spoke to Kingsley Coman. We were sitting down eating breakfast face-to-face, and he told me that when we train don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Because it happens, but when you make that mistake, try and get the ball back as quickly as possible, and don’t be afraid to try and do things to express yourself on the team.
When talking over what he has noticed since joining Bayern, Davies talked about the club’s commitment to ball possession and just how fast the game can be with the Bavarians:
I experienced that the ball is the most important thing. When you have the ball, the other team really can’t do anything. That’s the model of the team: to try and keep the ball and try to break the team down and weave the ball side-to-side and end up with a cross or finish. The speed of the ball moves at some incredible levels.
Now, though, the learning experience is about to become a crash course. The Rückrunde opener against Hoffenheim beckons, and Davies could potentially make his Bundesliga debut. Will the Canadian be ready if called upon? Judging by how far he has come thus far, it is hard to bet against him.