Bayern Munich, which will play in the Champions League final against PSG on Sunday, has a gifted player with an atypical career in its ranks. Alphonso Davies, who grew up in a refugee camp in Ghana, now uses his notoriety to help those, like his Liberian parents, had to flee their country.

“I am in a good position to know what can happen when refugees are given the chance to pursue their dreams.” This message, Alphonso Davies posted on June 20 on his Instagram account, 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, the capital of Ghana.

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

After five years, the Davies family managed to leave the camp and arrive in Canada. Alphonso went to school and joined a soccer club in Edmonton. His parents find work there and raise their three children. A brilliant footballer, Alphonso was then taken to the Vancouver Whitecap training center where he quickly excelled, joining the professional team in 2016, at only 15 years old. The following year Alphonso obtained 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.

A precocious talent

The fame of this
early talent quickly crossed the Atlantic Ocean

and aroused great interest in major European clubs. On January 1, 2019, Alphonso Davies arrived at Bayern Munich. Four months later, he became the club’s youngest goalscorer (18 years, 4 months and 15 days) after scoring against Mainz and also the first Canadian to ever score a goal for the Bavarian club.

In the midst of a workforce very rich in talent, Alphonso Davies, nicknamed Phonzie, quickly confirmed the hopes that Bayern recruiters were harboring. And Alphonso Davies was keen to take advantage of his growing popularity to help refugees. At the end of April, he launched an appeal intended to collect donations for them as the coronavirus pandemic hits the world.

To raise funds for the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), he had then participated in a match on a video game against AC Milan goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, a
another former refugee who fled Bosnia for Germany when he
was young, before settling in Canada.

The Final 8 of the Champions League, the final phase of this competition which takes place in Portugal, once again allowed Alphonso Davies to gain notoriety, this player having notably distinguished himself during the meeting against FC Barcelona who won ended with an overwhelming victory for the German team (8 goals to 2). And in view of the final which will see, on Sunday 23 August, Bayern Munich and PSG clash, ACNUR (the Spanish branch of the UNHCR) congratulated Alphonso Davies on Twitter by wondering who could still doubt the quality and resilience capacity of refugees.



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