Canada's Alphonso Davies has told bundesliga.com that he is living the dream at Bayern Munich, having smashed down the door of the senior team in next to no time at all.
Davies, 19, made the switch from Vancouver Whitecaps in January 2019, but has already played in over 25 competitive matches little over halfway into his first full season at Germany's most successful club.
bundesliga.com caught up with the Canadian wunderkind to discuss his transition from Whitecaps to Bayern, his favourite position and his unusual, but rapid, journey to the top...
bundesliga.com: Alphonso Davies, can you describe your past months here in Munich?
Alphonso Davies: "The last few months have been good. They've gone by very well; very quickly. I've been enjoying my time here, playing, training. Enjoying my time here in Munich as a whole."
bundesliga.com: Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is very fond of you. This is a quote from him: "He has physical attributes, great potential, he runs away from no one. You could say that we will be having a lot of fun with him." How does it feel to hear these words?
Davies: "It's good. He played before. I've seen a couple of highlight videos. He was a good player so coming from him it's something special. I feel honoured that he thinks that way of me. I just have to keep going; keep fighting."
bundesliga.com: It can't have been easy coming over here. How have you managed to get into the starting XI so quickly?
Davies: "The first couple of months I was here, it was a learning experience for me; trying to soak in everything. Being a young player, I knew I was not going to be in the team right away. I was going to have to learn from the experienced players; learn from the world class players. In my time here at Bayern, I've learned a lot. I'm happy that I'm getting playing time to be able to show my ability."
Watch: Alphonso Davies reflects on his breakout season so far
bundesliga.com: Who in the team has helped you the most in terms of integration?
Davies: "Everyone really. The players, they wanted to see their teammate succeed. They want to win games; they want to help you out a lot. Overall, it was the whole team."
bundesliga.com: How do you feel about your new position as a left-back?
Davies: "Yeah, I'm very comfortable. It's not a new position for me. I've played there before: my time with Vancouver and with the national team. Overall, it was not new to me. Like I said, I've played there before so playing there now is just about learning more and more about the position."
bundesliga.com: Would you rather play in the offensive or defensive phase?
Davies: No, I don't have a preference. Wherever the coach wants to put me. Up, down. It doesn’t matter. I'm able to give 100 per cent."
bundesliga.com: Describe your emotions when you score in the Bundesliga.
Davies: "It feels good. Especially in front of 75,000 people. In front of a stadium like the Allianz Arena. Being able to score my first goal… it was an outstanding moment for me. It was a great feeling. That's the kind of feeling I'd like to have each and every time I play."
bundesliga.com: What are your personal goals this season and what targets has the team set itself?
Davies: "My personal ambition is to stay healthy for as long as possible, play each game, get better and better. As a team, as a collective, it is to have no injuries, obviously to win the league, to try to win every competition that we're in."
bundesliga.com: How does it feel to be the first Canadian national at Bayern Munich?
Davies: "I'm proud! It's a dream come true. Being in Canada, having snow all the time, not being able to play outside for most of the year - most of the months it's snowing so you can't play football outside – coming here and being part of Bayern Munich is incredible; it's a dream come true."
Watch: Alphonso Davies became Bayern's first millennial and Canadian scorer in March 2019
bundesliga.com: Let's talk a bit about your early career. When, how and why did you start playing football?
Davies: "I started playing football around the age of 12 or 10. I'm not too sure of the exact age. I started playing football later than most of my friends. Most of them started playing at a very young age. At first I was just playing with my friends at school, outside, but then one of my friends at school came to me and said 'there's a team try-out. Let’s go try it out' so I said 'no problem'. We went and luckily the coach said we all made the team so that’s how it started. Football's been in my family though; my dad, my brother. They played. Watching them growing up, it made me want to be a footballer as well."
bundesliga.com: You started at Edmonton, transferring to Vancouver at the age of 15. Can you describe this part of your career for us?
Davies: "Being so young and leaving home – I think this was the first time I moved away from home – at first I was excited: not living with parents, being responsible. But then being so young, I miss my family. A lot. Vancouver also helped me because they allowed them to come over; to watch some games. I was happy for that."
bundesliga.com: How did it feel to be the first professional footballer in the MLS born in the 2000’s (at the age of 15) to play for the Whitecaps?
Davies: "It was good! At first, I was nervous, obviously because Vancouver was the biggest club in Canada at the time. I was really nervous playing for the team. I knew what they were capable of, what players they had. Me going there, I wanted to show them what I had and what aspect I could bring to the team."
bundesliga.com: Who do you still keep in touch with from Canada?
Davies: "My friends. My family, obviously. Growing up in Canada was good for me. I got used to the cold quickly. I still keep in touch with most of the people I was friends with growing up."
bundesliga.com: Are you referring to a specific friend or coach?
Davies: "Yeah, he is actually my manager. Growing up, when I transferred from Edmonton to the Strikers, my manager now, he was the coach. He was my mentor. He helped me out as much as possible. He made sure I had whatever I needed. I'm happy. I'm glad that he's in my life."
bundesliga.com: How much do you owe your family when you think about your quick rise and development?
Davies: "I owe my family a lot. I owe them a big 'thank you'. Being able to leave a war-torn country like Liberia, to be able to bring the family to a safe environment like Canada, letting me play the sport, letting me go to Vancouver, being able to come all the way out here… it was good. I think if she hadn't let me go to Vancouver, I don’t know where I would be right now."
bundesliga.com: What did you promise your mother?
Davies: "Before I left, I promised her I'd be a good boy, that I would stay the same and that I would finish my education. I’m still working on that."
bundesliga.com: You were born in Ghana. How difficult was it growing up there?
Davies: "To be honest, I don't remember it much. From the stories heard from my parents, it wasn’t easy. Being in a refugee camp, it's not easy, regardless of where you are in the world. It's not easy being in a refugee camp. But on a personal note, I don't have many memories of my time in Ghana."
bundesliga.com: You are a part of the 'Born to Be' Academy. Do you want to be an inspiration to the people from your country?
Davies: "Yeah. I think the 'Born to Be' Academy is a good academy for young players in Canada; in Edmonton I should say. That program started with passion. Someone got up and said 'there's a lot of talent in this city; let’s show them'. I'm pretty sure that some of these kids are going to be playing for Canada one day, for sure."
bundesliga.com: You obviously, feel at home on social media as well. What do you like about it?
Davies: "It's a way to express yourself. People that don’t know you personally, they can go through social media and know a little bit more about you. I also like to entertain!"
bundesliga.com: You recreated the celebration of Thomas Müller in one of your videos. Could you show it to us here?
Davies: "Watching Thomas from a young age, he doesn’t really celebrate. He just goes "yaaaghhh", you know? He doesn’t really have a signature celebration. He’s just… a simple guy!"
bundesliga.com: What's your signature celebration?
Davies: "I don’t really have a signature move. If I score more goals it will come."
bundesliga.com: A question about the Super Bowl – Chiefs or the 49ers? Who will you be rooting for and what's your prediction?
Davies: "I’ll pick the Kansas City Chiefs. Why? I don’t know. Probably because apparently, their quarter-back's really good. (Patrick) Mahomes. And most of the players. I like them as well. I don’t really watch (American) football that often. I don’t really have a team. I just watch. People have said I could play at running-back, but it involves too much tackling on the knees."
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