This week on the BSC blog we're taking a trip around the world from Liberia to Ghana, to Canada and Germany. If you haven't figured it out by now, yes, we're talking about Alphonso Davies, Bayern Munich's whirlwind left wing-back. A lot of our previous blog posts have focused on young and up and coming players with superstar potential. Guys still in, or a year removed from their rookie seasons. And while Davies is still young (he just turned 20 years old this past November), at this point he is far from up and coming.
Davies rise to the top has been sharp and quick, much like the player himself, but his journey to Champions League winner was nothing close to straight forward. Davies was born to Liberian parents in a refugee camp in Ghana. His family relocated to Canada when he was five and he received his Canadian citizenship when he was 16 years old. The same month he received his Canadian citizenship, he also went on to become the youngest player to appear and score for the Canadian's men's national team. Davies has some other odd awards, including (get ready to feel old) being the first player born in the 2000s to score at a major international tournament. He also broke the Bundesliga speed record at the end of his second title-winning season.
And outside of his personal life, Davies football upbringing was also somewhat unique. He came up in the MLS' Vancouver Whitecaps FC Academy, making his professional debut at age 15. He spent two years in the MLS and immediately attracted interest from some of Europe's top clubs due to his blistering pace, dribbling ability, creativity and vision. His talents persuaded the mighty Bayern Munich to break the MLS transfer record to bring him to the Bundesliga. Bayern predictably won the title in his first season, but it was really the following 2019-20 season that Davies established himself not only as a starter, but as one of the world's best wing-backs. His performances in the Champions League really caught the attention of the footballing world, particularly his dominating performance in the semi-finals where he embarrassed Nelson Semedo on his way to providing a Joshua Kimmich tap-in, and ultimately sent Lionel Messi looking for the self-eject button from the Catalan club.
Davies is clearly a unique, generational talent. The pride of Canada (and no doubt Ghana and Liberia as well). When it comes to the soccer card world, he offers a variety of options. Keep in mind that his "true" rookie cards are from his time in the MLS, while there are a couple of Bayern Munich cards that can reasonably be touted as "rookie" cards as well. But we'll let you decide.
- 2018 Topps Vancouver Whitecaps #157
- 2018 Topps Vancouver Whitecaps Stadium Club #21
- 2018 Topps Now Vancouver Whitecaps #60
- 2018 Topps Now Vancouver Whitecaps #108
- 2019 Panini Donruss Optic Rated Rookies Bayern Munich #176