Teenage sensation Alphonso Davies has become a Bayern Munich and Canada national team staple in no time at all. bundesliga.com profiles one of the most exciting players of his generation...
After blazing a trail through the St. Nicholas Soccer Academy and Edmonton Strikers as a kid, Davies was enrolled in the Vancouver Whitecaps' residency program at 14. His progress was rapid and, after becoming the youngest player to appear in the United Soccer League, he made history as the first player born in the 2000s to play in Major League Soccer. He was just 15 years, eight months and 15 days old. All told, he turned out 65 times in MLS, tallying eight goals and 12 assists - all before the age of 18.
Davies linked up with Bayern in November 2018 after completing the MLS season with Vancouver. He made his Bundesliga debut as an 86th-minute substitute for Kingsley Coman against VfB Stuttgart on 27 January 2019, and scored his first goal in a 6-0 rout of Mainz seven weeks later. In doing so, Canada's 2018 Player of the Year carved out his own slice of history in the Bavarian capital. Not only is he the first Canada international to play and score for Bayern, he is also the first person born after 2000 to find the net for the club.
History and Davies go hand in hand. Kid Canada had already represented his country at U17 and U20 level when he was called up for the senior side, debuting against Curaçao on 14 June 2017. He went on to establish himself as The Canucks' youngest ever goalscorer and the youngest to score at a Gold Cup with his brace against French Guiana, as well as the first player born in the 21st century to score at a major international tournament. The 5'11" teen chalked up another milestone by becoming the first player to score for Canada against the USA since 2007 in the northern American neighbours' CONCACAF Nations League Group A qualifier on 16 October 2019.
Plays a bit like: David Alaba
Davies joined Bayern with 'next Arjen Robben' billing, but the Canadian's long-term appears to lie in the David Alaba role at left-back. Like the Austrian before him - who crossed the Austro-German border as a budding midfielder - Phonzie has made a seamless transition from attacking winger to the left-hand side of the Bayern defence. Combining all the hallmarks of any modern wing-back worth his salt - instinct and positional awareness, pace, a pin-point passing range, defensive resolve and confidence in possession on the flanks or half spaces - he is now being talked up as one of the best left-sided defenders on the planet.
"I was thrown in at the deep end very early, maybe even younger," Alaba told Sport1, having switched to the centre of the Bayern back four, with Davies to his left, for much of 2019/20. "So it's nice to see him swimming so freely! He is doing really, really well. He's a boy who wants to develop, who listens and can be guided in training sessions. He's a player who is very brave, and he improvises well. You need that at the top level these days and he really does it very well."
Watch: Alphonso Davies under the tactical microscope
Did you know?
Davies was born in Buduburam, a Ghanaian refugee camp, after his parents had fled the civil war in Liberia. The Davies family were able to immigrate to Canada when Alphonso was five, eventually settling in Edmonton, Alberta. He obtained obtained his Canadian citizenship a week after making his senior international debut, and later spoke at the FIFA Congress on behalf of North America's 'United bid' to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
"It was very compelling and very inspiring and very emotional," said Peter Montopoli, General Secretary of Soccer Canada, after FIFA awarded the 2026 tournament to Canada, Mexico and the USA. "He was just the perfect guy to start with. He is what this bid was all about - being united."
What they're saying
"Davies brings his strengths to the pitch and wins a lot of defensive balls with his pace. He was originally signed as a winger, but he's doing an incredible job at left-back. His development has been phenomenal." - Bayern interim coach Hansi Flick
"He has explosive pace and a really good left foot. We've never had a player like him." - Bayern teammate Thomas Müller
"We signed Alphonso Davies a year ago because we saw him as one of the best players of his generation. We're delighted that this is now being confirmed with every game he plays." - Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic
"Alphonso Davies can become one of the best left-backs in the world" - Bayern reserves coach Sebastian Hoeneß