Alphonso Davies has had a roller coaster experience since moving to Bayern Munich. Since he was eligible to play with the Rekordmeister in January, he has gone from the ups of scoring a goal in the Bundesliga to the downs of suffering an injury and being sent to play with the reserves in the Regionalliga. Davies sat down with FCBayern.com and spoke about his time so far in Munich.
Davies was asked about how he is acclimating to his new home. He spoke about life in Munich and learning German.
Obviously, it’s different from Canada. The one thing I find different is nothing’s open on Sundays (laughs). That’s usually when I go do shopping for the week, and the first time I came I went to go buy some clothes, nothing was open. Now I’m used to it. The weather is getting better. There’s a lot of coffee shops where I live, a lot of people outside — it’s good to see. I hope I can experience more of the culture and especially learn the language.
Davies admitted that learning German is “difficult.” He said,
I think German is one of the hardest languages but I have a good teacher, I have players around me who want me to learn the language. I also want to learn the language. They tell me every time I have a chance to speak German, speak it. Don’t be shy. Obviously, it’s not going to be perfect, the way you guys put your sentences. I’m learning sentence structure — it’s very different from English. My teacher’s helping me a lot, we usually have an hour or half an hour every day.
The young Canadian was also asked a lot about his homeland. He jokingly said that the biggest difference between Canadians and Germans shows when the sun come out. He joked that the Germans want to enjoy it as much as possible but in Canada there is still snow on the ground, so they can’t do much! Davies was asked about his nation’s feeling towards FC Bayern. He said,
It’s one of the biggest clubs in the world. When they found out I was going people were shocked and started naming these big players. At first I was like “wow, I’m going to be playing with them, they’re going to be my teammates.” When I first walked into the locker room, the first person I saw was Robben — I couldn’t believe it. “Is that really him?” So I started staring at him. I shouldn’t have done that but I started staring at him.
After his initial, starstruck moments, Davies got straight to work. He mentioned the higher intensity that Bayern trained at in comparison to his former teams. When asked how Davies is has adjusted to the training now, he credited his teammates for how much they have pushed and taught him.
I’m still dealing with it. As a young footballer, it’s not easy to come from Canada and then try to play in one of the best teams in the world. It takes time, especially at a young age. It takes a lot of patience to be able to play. Yeah, you’re going to make mistakes but the players just tell me, “Make 100 mistakes but we know you’re learning. You learn from your mistakes.”
Interestingly, Davies singled out midfielder Thiago Alcantara as a role model on the pitch:
I think one of the main guys I look up to is Thiago. We play different positions but his awareness on the field, his touches, everything about him is so calm. He’s technically gifted and amazing to watch — as a teammate and as a fan. As a kid I watched him and I remember my friends talking about him.
Davies was not sure how soon his next opportunity with the first team would come. He was pleasantly surprised that his debut came so quickly. He also feels lucky to have scored his first goal so quickly — which he hopes is the first of many. Davies described what he was thinking when he scored:
Wow! I was speechless, I didn’t know what to say when I scored. I tried to do the Arjen Robben sliding on my knees. Before I was actually watching him and [thinking] just how amazing he is still. I’m sure he’s going to come back and play before he leaves. And I saw one of the videos where he slid on his knees and I thought I wanted to try that, as a kid looking up to one of your role models, and I tried it.
This celebration unfortunately gave Davies his first major setback of his Bayern career, as he was injured in the act of sliding. He was supposed to fly to Canada to play with their National team in Vancouver, the city and club from where he transferred. But he has now recovered and is back to fighting for first-team minutes. He spoke about the process and what it is like playing with the reserves. He said,
Every game I play, no matter how big or small, I just try to give my all in everything I do. Obviously it’s different when you walk in the stadium and you see 75,000 people compared to 700, but as soon as that whistle blows, football is football, you just want to play and have fun. I don’t see it as a negative thing (playing in a lower league). Most of the players here, for example Lahm and Alaba, played for the second team. It’s a transition you have to go through being a young player, get some minutes, you don’t expect to play every single game at that level in the Bundesliga. My time will come, I’m being patient.
With his great attitude and hard work ethic, it is easy to root for this kid to succeed. If he continues on the way he is, he should be able to do big things for FC Bayern and for Canada.