Refugee Camp to Righteous World Champ

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By: Luke Moriarty – Staff Writer

If you watched the final rounds of last Summer’s UEFA Champions Competition, you would’ve seen German club Bayern Munich ripping through the field of teams in order to hoist up the UEFA trophy. Bayern took down the gauntlet of Chelsea, Barcelona, and OL Lyon in order to play in the final against PSG. The team was unstoppable during their run in 2020, led by global star Robert Lewandowski.  

However, there was a new star born on the national stage, a player raised through the MLS who would continue to promote the legitimacy and talent field of MLS Youth Academies.

This player is Alphonso Davies, North America’s new superstar.

Alphonso was born in Buduburam, Ghana — a refugee camp just outside the Capital city of Accra. Alphonso’s parents were both refugees from Monrovia who fled the Liberian Civil War, a war that displaced around 450,000 Liberian citizens. 

At the age of 5, Davies’ family moved to Edmonton, Canada. He grew up in Canada with his 5 other siblings and his parents. This was an adjustment for Davies who at first spoke “broken english”, he wouldn’t even receive his Canadian citizenship until 2017. Even with all that, Davies had a dream in mind, his friend from Canada recalls, “Soccer was the thing he wanted to get into.”

In 2015, Alphonso would transition to the Vancouver WhiteCaps Youth Academy. This was a massive step for him with the Whitecaps being one of the most stable and successful franchises in the MLS, let alone Canada. 

After just one year at the Youth Academy, Alphonso would sign with the WhiteCaps 2nd team in the United Soccer League, at the time making him the youngest player to sign a USL contract. Davies was 15 years old.

In 2016, Davies was fully recognized as a true talent, and the WhiteCaps promoted him to the 1st team and signed to a new contract with the club. Davies would then go on to shine with Vancouver playing in the MLS, CONCACAF Champions League, and Canadian Championships for them. Davies would score 12 goals in 81 games as a Left Wingback for the Whitecaps, and this attracted tons of outside European attention. 

2017 would mark not only his first year of Canadian citizenship, but also the first year of International play for the Canadian National Team. Davies has made 17 caps for the Maples, while scoring 5 goals in that short time. Currently he is the center piece of that squad, however he faces the potential opportunity of Dual-Nationality eligibility and switching to play for the likes of the Liberian or Ghanaian National Teams. I’m SURE the Ayew brothers or Partey have hit him up about playing for Ghana many times.

In July of 2018, Vancouver transferred Davies over to the aforementioned German ‘Giant’ Bayern Munich FC. The transfer fee would amount to nearly $35,000,000 for Bayern, making Davies the most expensive MLS player ever at the time. 

Since then, the sky has been the limit for Alphonso. He has taken the first team by storm for Bayern, and has made their defense one of the strongest on the planet. Davies has scored 6 times in 74 games for Bayern, and he’s only 20 years old! Davies has dominated the Bundesliga and UEFA Champions League, even showcasing his masterclass skills against world-renowned Barcelona. Most recently, Davies started for Bayern as they took home the FIFA Club World Cup Championship in Qatar.

Alphonso’s story is a real source of intrigue and inspiration. Davies was not dealt with the easiest life growing up in Ghana, with his parents going through a life changing experience in Liberia. Still, Davies’ family stayed strong, and his parents gave all they could for Alphonso and his siblings to succeed. Alphonso’s determination and passion for the game he loves stays true with him today. He is always trying to silence the haters who will continue to doubt his ability.

Football is a beautiful sport, and its unlimited possibilities provide very cool opportunities for anyone with the drive and energy to be the best, no matter what the circumstances are.

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