Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Whitecaps' Alphonso Davies Excited to Play with Bayern Munich Soccer Stars

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Whitecaps' Alphonso Davies Excited to Play with Bayern Munich Soccer Stars

Article excerpt

Alphonso Davies excited to play with soccer stars

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VANCOUVER - For Alphonso Davies, life is becoming a little bit more like a video game.

The 17-year-old has always loved the FIFA soccer games and as a kid, he liked to play as some of the Bayern Munich players he enjoyed watching on TV.

In January, Davies will be teammates with some of those athletes.

The German soccer giant agreed to a record-breaking US$22 million transfer deal for the young Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder on Wednesday. He'll play for the team through 2023.

"Those are the guys that as a kid, I was looking up to, watching them on TV, playing them in FIFA. Getting to meet them and play with them is just exciting," Davies said.

And the prospect of being a character in a FIFA game one day soon?

"I don't know what to say. It just puts a big smile on my face," the teen said, smiling wide and showing off his braces.

Davies has been doing a lot of smiling since he signed the contract with Bayern. For his mother, though, the initial reaction was shock.

"I talked to her (on Wednesday) and she almost burst out in tears. She couldn't believe it," he said.

Davies was born in a refugee camp in Ghana after his parents fled the Liberian civil war. His family immigrated to Canada when he was five, eventually settling in Edmonton, where his parents and five siblings still live.

It hasn't been an easy life, the teen soccer star said.

"My family went through a lot coming to Canada. I'm just really, really happy that I can do this for them and that they're proud of me," he said.

The rising soccer star knows that achieving his dream of playing for a premier European club won't be easy for his mom.

"Moving overseas, no mother wants to see their kid go so far away from them," he said. "But coming (to Vancouver) really opened her eyes that I can take care of myself and I'm ready to take that next step. …

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