Abukari Damba: Ghana should be proud of Bayern Munich’s Alphonso Davies

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Former Ghana international goalkeeper Abukari Damba has said that the African nation should be proud of what Bayern Munich left-back Alphonso Davies has achieved so far.

The Ghanaian-born Canadian international will never play for the African country but the former international goalkeeper said they should be proud of what the teenager has achieved. Davies relocated to Canada as a child and moved to Europe with Bayern Munich at 18.

Davies was born in Buduburam, a Ghanaian refugee camp. His parents fled the civil war in Liberia and were able to immigrate to Canada when Alphonso was five.

Alphonso Davies is now Bayern Munich’s first choice left-back

After eventually settling in Edmonton, Alberta, 14-year-old Davies was enrolled in the Vancouver Whitecaps’ residency program. He began his football career by setting a record to be the first player born in the 2000s to play in Major League Soccer at 15 years, eight months and 15 days. He went to play 65 games for the first team before agreeing to join Bayern for an MLS record fee in July 2018.

Alphonso Davies made senior Canada debut a week after obtaining citizenship

Davies made his international debut for Canada against Curaçao on 14 June 2017, a week after obtaining his Canadian citizenship. This makes him ineligible to represent his country of birth at the international level. He had earlier play for Canada at the U17 and U20 levels. He is the youngest player to turn out for the seniors.

“Davies could not have known all that his parents went through in Ghana because he was very young.

“He may be a lost talent [to Ghana], but let us remember that he had to go through processes and the opportunities were opened to him in Canada.

“Honestly, it’s in Canada that he really identified who he is or who had to identify him and nurture him to become who he is. We are still talking about him being born in Ghana but let’s not forget that his formative years were in Canada where his talent was brought to the fore, they had to take him through the various stages, and give him all the opportunities,” Damba, who was part of the Black Stars’ 1992 African Cup of Nations squad, told Goal of Davies’ journey.

He further said Ghana shouldn’t feel left out because he does not play for them.

“He will definitely trace his roots to Ghana. But he would definitely have been a good addition to the Black Stars.”

In his 17 senior international appearances for Canada, Davies has registered five goals and eight assists since making his debut at the age of 16.

Meanwhile, he has also made unprecedented progress since officially making the switch to Bayern in January 2019. He played six times for the senior team during the second half of the 2018/19 season.

Davies i the first Canadian to win Champions League trophy

He later became the club’s first goalscorer born in the 2000s and youngest in 20 years, courtesy of a late strike in a 6-1 drubbing of Mainz on 17 March 2019. He also ended the campaign with Bundesliga and DFB Cup winner’s medals.

Davies adapted to new role at Bayern Munich

Davies was converted to a left-back despite being an attacking winger by trade. He manned the position will and made it his own in the 2019/20 season, starting 37 of Bayern’s 51 competitive matches on their way to completing a Bundesliga, DFB Cup, and UEFA Champions League treble. He is also the first Canada international to play win a Champions League final.

“This young man born here [in Ghana], and nobody ever anticipated he will rise to this level – but it did not come easy,.

“He’s a shining example; the up-and-coming ones can take inspiration from the fact that this is one of us who was born in such a community [like the refugee camp], but has grown up to become who he is today. They will encourage themselves to do things right, remain steadfast, and could even become better than this young lad we are seeing today taking the whole world by storm.

“We [Ghanaians] are very proud of him,” ” explained added.