Football: Alphonso Davies, the star of Bayern Munich born in a refugee camp

Bayern Munich, who play on Sunday in the Champions League final against PSG, have in their rank a talented player with an atypical career. Alphonso Davies, who grew up in a refugee camp in Ghana, is now using his notoriety to help those who, like his Liberian parents, have to flee their country.

“I am in a good position to know what can happen when refugees get the chance to pursue their dreams.” This announcement, Alphonso Davies posted on his Instagram account on June 20, on the occasion of World Refugee Day. This brilliant Bayern Munich defender was born 19 years ago in the Buduburam refugee camp, located about 40 kilometers from Accra, Ghana.

The Buduburam camp was founded in 1990 to accommodate refugees fleeing the first civil war in Liberia. It grew in size during the conflicts that rocked Sierra Leone and Liberia, the country from which Alphonso Davies’ parents left in 2000. On November 2 of that year, Alphonso was born. His mother Victoria, told the SkySports website the great difficulty of raising this child in a refugee camp where food was sorely lacking. “We were safe in Ghana. But it was difficult to live there, we were worried. People are also starving in camps, not just in war zones,” Victoria Davies said.

After five years, the Davies family managed to leave the camp and arrive in Canada. Alphonso went to school and joined a football club in Edmonton. His parents find work there and raise their three children. A brilliant football player, Alphonso was then taken to the Vancouver Whitecap training center where he quickly excelled, joining the professional team in 2016, just 15 years old. The following year, Alphonso received Canadian nationality and a few days later, on June 13, 2017, he won his first selection with the Canadian national team in a friendly match against Curaçao.

An older talent

The fame of this older talent quickly crossed the Atlantic and aroused great interest among major European clubs. On January 1, 2019, Alphonso Davies arrived at Bayern Munich. Four months later, he became the club’s youngest goal scorer (18 years, 4 months and 15 days) after scoring against Mainz and also the first Canadian to ever score for the Bavarian club.

Amidst a very rich talent in the workforce, Alphonso Davies, nicknamed Phonzie, quickly confirmed the hope that the Bavarian recruit would end up. And Alphonso Davies was keen to take advantage of his growing popularity to help refugees. In late April, he launched an appeal to collect donations for them when the coronavirus pandemic hits the world. To raise funds forHigh Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), he had then participated in a match in a video game against AC Milan goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, another former refugee who fled Bosnia for Germany when he was young, before settling in Canada.
Final 8 of the Champions League, the last phase of this competition taking place in Portugal, made it possible for Alphonso Davies to become infamous again, this player has especially excelled during the match against FC Barcelona which won ended with an overwhelming victory for the German the team (8 goals to 2). And given the final that will be seen, Bayern Munich and PSG meet on Sunday 23 August, ACNUR (the Spanish branch of the UNHCR) congratulated Alphonso Davies on Twitter by wondering who could still doubt the quality and resilience of refugees.