Jozy Altidore, Stern John, Brad Friedel.
Wayne Gretzky, Steve Nash, Fergie Jenkins.
Alphonso Davies, a 17-year-old soccer player with an amazing backstory, already belongs on the first of these two lists, of players whose moves to European football clubs broke Major League Soccer’s unofficial record for a received transfer fee. And following his $13.5 million move from the Vancouver Whitecaps to Germany’s FC Bayern Munich, one of the richest, most storied teams in the world, Davies has the chance to join the second: that of athletes who have shown that Canadians can compete at the very highest level in their sports.
Davies was born in a refugee camp in Ghana, after his parents left Liberia in the midst of a civil war. The family moved to Canada when the boy was five, eventually settling in Edmonton. Davies himself moved to Vancouver in 2015 at 14 years old to join the Whitecaps academy, signing his first deal and making his first-team debut the following year. He’ll move to Bayern at the end of the year, once he turns 18 in November.
The resolutely humble young Davies talked to Maclean’s about life as Canada’s next great soccer star.
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