Thursday, 26 September 2019

The Bayern Munich winger born in a refugee camp

Alphonso Davies

Few can compare their journeys to the top of professional football than the story of Alphonso Davies - the Bayern Munich youngster who will be featured on Football Focus on Saturday.

Born in a refugee camp in Ghana in 2000, his parents had fled fighting in the second Liberian civil war. They then moved to Canada as refugees when the player was five years old.

Davies joined the Vancouver Whitecaps youth set-up in 2015 at the age of 14, before making his MLS debut a year later, and his big break came in the summer of 2018.

That was when European giants Bayern agreed a Major League Soccer record £9.84m fee to sign the player the following January - and the teenager quickly found himself rubbing shoulders with superstars.

"The first time I came to Bayern Munich, I could not believe it," he told the BBC. "When I got into the locker room, the first person I saw was Arjen Robben and at that time I could not believe what my eyes were seeing.

"He came up to me, shook my hand and said: 'Hi, I am Arjen.' In my head, I thought: 'You do not have to introduce yourself.'

"When I signed, I posted a picture of me holding the shirt on Instagram and there was a comment that said: 'Mats Hummels follows you, [but] you don't follow him back.'

"I searched up his name, followed him back and he sent me a message saying: 'Welcome to the team, look forward to seeing you soon.' I replied back saying: 'Thank you, I can't wait to come.'

"Then more and more players started reaching out. At first I did not believe it was them but then they had the blue tick so it was the real deal."

Davies has played 10 times for Bayern so far, including four appearances off the bench this term, and has scored two goals. He also netted a fantastic 25-yard strike against Tottenham in pre-season.

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