Bayern Munich and Canada have more reason to celebrate with Alphonso Davies flying again


Of all the special sights that set spirits soaring in one more spectacular Bundesliga season, that of Canada full-back Alphonso Davies flying out of the blocks having been declared fully fit again and lifting one more title with champions Bayern Munich, is surely among the most cherished.

The Bavarians recently claimed the Meisterschale for a 10th season in a row; for Davies - at 21-years-old - it was the fourth time in succession he's been crowned a Bundesliga champion. That Bayern confirmed their top-flight dominance for one more season against rivals Borussia Dortmund made victory all the more sweeter, but that extra sprinkle of satisfaction will have come with Davies back to his best out on the Allianz Arena turf after a campaign he is likely to never forget.

Prior to the winter break this season, Bayern beat Wolfsburg 4-0. There, putting in one more top performance at full-back on that 17 December day, Davies can't have even come close to imagining it would be his last game for almost four months. Hit with a bout of myocarditis - an inflammation of the heart muscle - the Canada international, capped 30 times, was forced out of his club's return to action in the Rückrunde, with rest set as a priority.

Watch: Prior to being sidelined, Davies was in fine form for Bayern

"At the time, it was frustrating for me because I didn't know how dangerous it was to the extent, I just thought it was like something you just had to sit out for like three weeks," Davies recently said in an interview with ESPN. The former Vancouver Whitecaps player had experienced the frustration of a spell on the sidelines the previous season, when he missed five Bundesliga games with an ankle injury, but this was different.

"I was really frustrated because I couldn't do anything, I couldn't work out - I was a couch potato," Davies told ESPN. "Every single day, I was trying to find ways to entertain myself and go outside for a walk because I am a very active guy."

Added to the disappointment of missing the core of Bayern's campaign, Davies was also forced to look on from afar as Canada chased FIFA World Cup qualification, a feat they had achieved only once in the past. The international games came and went: Honduras, the United States, El Salvador and Costa Rica. "Injuries and poor performances are part of the game, but you can't give up, you just have to keep fighting," the Ghana-born star insisted.

Davies had to remain calm as he waited for the all-clear to play again. - CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP via Getty Images

And fight Davies did. On 17 March, the versatile full-back shared a post to his 4.6 million followers on Instagram of him back training at Bayern's Säbener Straße with the words: "A career is a series of ups and downs, of comeback." The post received almost 420,000 likes, with fans delighted to see their hero back dressed in his training garb and doing some keepy-uppies.

The return had officially begun. Just 10 days later, the world watched as Davies broke down in tears while broadcasting on Twitch: Canada had just defeated Jamaica 2-0 and secured their passage through to this winter's World Cup in Qatar.

"I'm going to the World Cup! We're going to the World Cup, man," the Bayern defender said, while rubbing his eyes in glee. "I cannot believe it. I'm tearing up. My dream has come true."

There was more delight to come. In the first week of April, Davies made his competitive comeback in a Champions League quarter-final against Villarreal - in fact playing the full 90 minutes. Although Bayern endured eventual elimination at the hands of the Spanish side, Davies's nightmare of the previous few months as a self-proclaimed "couch potato" was finally behind him.

He's gradually began to get more game time under his belt: the win at Augsburg, a first Bundesliga start since December in the team's subsequent victory at Arminia Bielefeld. Indeed, Davies featured in 216 minutes prior to Bayern's Der Klassiker meeting with Dortmund on Matchday 31. In that game - which Bayern triumphed 3-1 to be confirmed title winners - the player known as 'Phonzy' was on the field for the entire game, making more sprints than any other player. A comeback champion.

All told, despite his setbacks this season, Davies has managed to make 20 Bundesliga appearances to date during Bayern's championship drive. He has weighed in with three assists and provided 30 crosses during the campaign, while hitting a top speed of 22.5 mph marks him out as the division's third-quickest player. Bayern's win against BVB was Davies's 59th in 78 Bundesliga games for the Bavarian giants.

"It’s OK if you don’t like me because not everyone has good taste." - Alphonso Davies - IMAGO/Markus Ulmer/IMAGO/ULMER Pressebildagentur

Once asked if his full-back had the potential to be one of the world's best, Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann responded: "He probably already is; there aren't that many at his level in his position." Further recognition of the Canadian's immense talent arrived when he was named the 2021 Men’s Player of the Year for CONCACAF last month.

With his trophy haul at Bayern now reaching an incredible 11 pieces of major silverware, Davies's fierce appetite for success is only going to grow and grow. "It’s OK if you don’t like me because not everyone has good taste," he recently joked. But seeing Alphonso Davies back on track in 2022, what's not to like?