Alphonso Boyle Davies, soccer player (born 2 November 2000 in Buduburam, Ghana). Alphonso Davies is one of the world’s most promising young soccer stars. The youngest player ever on Team Canada, he was named the Canadian Men’s Player of the Year in 2018 and 2020. After being named an MLS All-Star and the Player of the Year with Vancouver Whitecaps FC in 2018, he signed a six-year contract with FC Bayern Munich of the Bundesliga in 2019. He was named the Bundesliga Rookie of the Season in 2019–20 and became the first Canadian men’s international to play on a team that won the Champions League. In 2020, he received the Lionel Conacher Award as Canada’s top male athlete and was a co-winner, with football player Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, of the Lou Marsh Trophy (now the Northern Star Award) as Canada’s athlete of the year.
Alphonso Davies playing with FC Bayern Munich, 28 April 2019.
(courtesy Wikimedia Commons)
Early Life and Family
Alphonso Davies was born in Buduburam, a refugee camp near Accra, Ghana. It was home to more than 12,000 refugees who fled Liberia during the First and Second Liberian Civil Wars. Alphonso Davies’s father and mother, Debeah and Victoria Davies, lived in Monrovia, Liberia, before they fled with their six children during the Second Liberian Civil War (1999–2003).
When Alphonso Davies was five, he and his family immigrated to Canada. They lived in Windsor, Ontario, before settling in Edmonton, Alberta, where Davies attended Mother Theresa Catholic School and St. Nicholas Catholic Junior High.
Davies started playing organized soccer in the Free Footie Programme, an after-school initiative for lower-income, inner-city kids. He went on to play with Nicholas Academy, Edmonton Internationals, Edmonton Strikers and FC Edmonton for a brief period. “That’s where I started my soccer, that’s where I played, that’s where I went to school, that’s where my family and friends live,” Davies said to Global News in 2018.
On 6 June 2017, Davies became a Canadian citizen at a ceremony in Vancouver. “I am overwhelmed and I am glad I can make my parents proud by becoming a Canadian citizen,” Davies told Canada Soccer. “Put your head down and keep fighting, that’s my motto.”
Davies was 13 years old when he made his debut in Canada Soccer’s youth program in 2014. He was named Canada U17 Male player of the Year in 2016 and again in 2017.
After gaining Canadian citizenship, Davies was eligible to play for the senior men’s Canadian national team. At age 16, he played a friendly against Curaçao, making him the youngest player ever to play for Team Canada. In Canada’s first match of the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup, Davies scored twice in a 4-2 victory over French Guiana, making him the youngest goal scorer in CONCACAF Gold Cup History. He also won the Golden Boot as the tournament’s top scorer and was named the Young Player of the Tournament.
Davies was selected to play for Canada in the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup as well as the 2019–20 CONCACAF Nations League. During a matchup in the CONCACAF Nations League, Davies scored the opening goal in a 2–0 victory over the United States; it was the first time the Canadian men’s team beat the US in 34 years.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
At age 14, Davies moved from Edmonton to Burnaby, British Columbia, to join the Vancouver Whitecaps FC residency program. In 2016, he signed with the Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2, the reserve team for the Whitecaps, making him the youngest player ever to sign a United Soccer League (USL) contract (15 years, three months). He made his professional debut with the Whitecaps within two months. Until 2020, Davies held the record as the youngest goal scorer in USL history at 15 years, six months. He finished his season with Whitecaps FC 2 with two goals in 11 games.
After his season with Whitecaps FC 2, Davies earned a promotion to Vancouver Whitecap FC’s first team, making him the third-youngest player ever to sign an MLS contract. He made his first-team debut on 1 June 2016, in the first leg of the Canadian Championship against Ottawa Fury FC. He started in the second leg, which took place in Vancouver. Davies’s debut in the Canadian Championship at age 15 made him the youngest player ever in the annual tournament. Just one year later, he became the tournament’s youngest goal scorer, scoring two goals and one assist in two matches.
During his 2016 season with Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Davies played in eight MLS matches, four Canadian Championship matches and three matches in the CONCACAF Champions League. In the 2017 season, he played in both legs in the CONCACAF Champions League quarter-finals and semifinals, where he scored in a 2–0 win against the New York Red Bulls. In the 2018 season opener against Montreal Impact (now Club de Foot Montréal), Davies recorded his first MLS goal and assisted on a goal by Kei Kamara. Davies was selected to play in the 2018 MLS All-Star game against Italian giants Juventus.
Davies was named the Vancouver Whitecaps FC Player of the Year on 24 October 2018. He also received the team’s Goal of the Year award.
FC Bayern Munich
On 25 July 2018, Alphonso Davies joined FC Bayern Munich of the Bundesliga on a record-breaking transfer deal with the Whitecaps. The deal involved a fixed transfer fee and additional compensation that could reach more than CDN $28 million — the most ever received by an MLS club in the league’s 23-year history.
During his career with FC Bayern, Davies quickly established himself as one of the best young players in soccer. On 17 March 2019, he scored his first goal for FC Bayern, making him the first Canadian international to score for the club. Davies won his first title with the club on 18 May 2019, when FC Bayern finished first in the Bundesliga. In April that year, FC Bayern and Davies agreed to a contact extension that would see Davies playing with the club until 2025.
During his 2020 season with FC Bayern, Davies broke the record for the fastest running speed recorded in the Bundesliga at 36.51 km per hour. He was also named the Bundesliga Rookie of the Year for the 2019–20 season. Davies became the first Canadian men’s international to win the Champions League when the club won 1–0 against Paris Saint-Germain.
Alphonso Davies has been in a relationship since 2017 with Canadian soccer prodigy Jordyn Huitema, who currently plays for the Paris Saint-Germain women’s side, as well as with Team Canada internationally. In March 2021, he became the first Canadian to be named a global goodwill ambassador for the United Nations refugee agency, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
- All-Star, Major League Soccer (2018)
- Player of the Year, Vancouver Whitecaps FC (2018)
- Goal of the Year, Vancouver Whitecaps FC (2018)
- Rookie of the Month, Bundesliga (May 2020)
- Rookie of the Season, Bundesliga (2019–20)
- Breakthrough XI, UEFA Champions League (2020)
- Male Player of the Year, Canada U-17 (2016, 2017)
- Bright Future Award, CONCACAF Gold Cup (2017)
- Golden Boot Award, CONCACAF Gold Cup (2017)
- Best XI, CONCACAF Gold Cup (2017)
- Men’s World Team, IFFHS (2020)
- Lou Marsh Trophy (2020)
- FIFPro World11, FIFA (2020)
- Lionel Conacher Award (2020)