Alphonso Davies continues to hit new heights in Europe

UCL

Alphonso Davies continues to hit new heights for club and country. After just five short seasons in Germany, he has won just about every team trophy imaginable.

He’s got 11. He’s won the Bundesliga four times, German Cup twice and German Supercup twice. He won UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Super Cup in 2020, then won the FIFA Club World Cup in early 2021. He was Canada Soccer’s first Men’s National Team player to win UEFA and FIFA club championships.

He’s also racked up several individual honours, from the Bundesliga Rookie of the Season in 2019-20 to the Bundesliga Team of the Season in 2020-21. He’s been a FC Bayern Player of the Month and a Bundesliga Rookie of the Month. He was also honoured as part of the UEFA Champions League Squad of the Season in 2019-20 and the FIFA FIFPro Men’s World11 in 2020.

On Tuesday, he set another Canada Soccer record by featuring in more men’s UEFA Champions League matches than any other player before him. Since 6 November 2019 – just four days past his 19th birthday – he has made 24 UEFA Champions League appearances for FC Bayern München. Those appearances include a few scintillating runs up the left side, performances that helped him win Canada Soccer Player of the Month honours in February 2020 (that match against Chelsea FC) and August 2020.

Through Tuesday 4 October, he has recorded six assists in 24 UEFA Champions League matches, the most famous of which was his highlight-reel run, dance, run and pass that teammate Joshua Kimmich scored past FC Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen. It was Davies’ moment of brilliance, 15 total touches that went around and past Lionel Messi and Arturo Vidal, left dance partner Nélson Semedo clutching for air, and beat centre backs Gerard Piqué and Clément Lenglet with the short pass to the onrushing Kimmich.

Said Kimmich after the match, “that was unbelievable. Even I was a bit ashamed when I celebrated. He gets 99 percent of the credit for the goal. I only had to get the ball over the line.”

He was an easy choice for Canada Soccer Player of the Year honours and a multiple Canadian Athlete of the Year winner, notably the Lionel Conacher Award by The Canadian Press, the Postmedia Male Athlete of the Year, and joint winner of the Toronto Star’s Lou Marsh Memorial Trophy.

With 24 UEFA Champions League appearances, Davies has one more than six-time Canada Soccer Player of the Year Atiba Hutchinson, the Canadian legend who featured in 15 consecutive seasons of UEFA continental competitions from 2007-08 to 2021-22. With three different clubs, Hutchinson has featured in 23 UEFA Champions League matches, 16 UEFA Champions League Qualifying matches, 50 UEFA Europa League matches, two UEFA Europa League Qualifying matches, 14 UEFA Cup matches, and four UEFA Cup Qualifying matches. Hutchinson may have lost his record for UEFA Champions League, but he still holds the Canada Soccer record with 109 UEFA continental matches across 15 seasons with FC København from Denmark, PSV Eindhoven from Netherlands, and Beşiktaş JK from Turkey.

Davies also holds the Canada Soccer mark with 20 men’s UEFA Champions League wins in the matches in which he has featured. The biggest win was that 23 August 2020 victory in the UEFA Champions League Final at Estadio de Luz in Lisboa, Portugal, a 1:0 victory over Paris Saint-Germain FC. It was a victory that had him smiling from ear to ear with the Canadian flag wrapped around his waist.

“It just goes to show you that anybody, if you set your mind to it, can do anything,” said Davies after that UEFA Champions League win. “I am happy that I am here with the Champions League medal around my neck and the trophy by my side.” Hopefully, it’s a victory that Davies and FC Bayern can find a way to repeat at the end of the current season at Atatürk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey on Saturday 10 June 2023.

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