Davies relishing Canada mission : The winger relishing the journey from a refugee camp to the 2022 World Cup.

Ottawa : When Alphonso Davies runs out onto the turf of the AI Rayyan Stadium to face star-studded Belgium on November 23 it will mark the latest step of a remarkable journey that has taken him from a refugee camp to the World Cup.

The fleet-footed Canada and Bayern Munich winger has crammed so much into his record-breaking career that it is easy to forget he is still only 22.

At any age when many professionals are still feeling their way into the upper echelons of the sport, Davies is already a seasoned veteran.

Four Bundesliga titles, a Champions League winners' medal and a FIFA Club World Cup crown are just some of the honours Davies has gathered in a professional career that began as a 15-year-old in Major League Soccer.

It is all a far cry from how the buccaneering wing-back started life.

Davies was born at the turn of the century in a refugee camp in Ghana, where he spent the first four years of his life after his parents fled civil war in Liberia.

''When we went to get our food, we had to step over corpses,'' according to Davies' mother, Victoria, in a grim reference to life in the camp. To escape the squalor, his parents migrated to Canada., first to Windsor, Ontario, then to Edmonton, Alberta.

In the country where ice hockey is king, Davies started to show huge potential with a football in after-school games at primary school and his talent was quickly spotted.

''The child was a gift to the game,'' remembered Tim Adams, founder of the afterschool league ''Free Footie'' where Davis first stood out.

He joined a football academy in Edmonton and as a 14-year-old he impressed on trial in Vancouver, where he joined the Whitecaps youth system. Then the records started tumbling. Aged 15 years and eight months, he became the youngest Canadian to play in the MLS.

Aged 16, seven months, he became the youngest Canadian international, named in the squad days after becoming a citizen.

In July 2017, Davies ended up as the joint top scorer with three goals at the CONCACAF Gold Cup as Canada lost in the quarter-finals to Jamaica, who in turn went down 2-1 to the USA in the final. [AFP]


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