Davies quickly progressed from being a new face in the squad to a fixture in the team. He made his Bayern debut in January 2019, and thoughts of a far-flung loan spell were swiftly banished when David Alaba was laid low by injury at the start of the 2019/20 season.
“They were looking for a left-back,” says Davies. “I guess they knew I played there at Vancouver, and with Canada as well. I was really, really nervous because I’d not played the position too many times and here I am, replacing one of the best left-backs in the world. It was truly incredible. I told him I’d just keep his spot warm and, whenever he was ready to come back, he could take it.”
There was one small wrinkle in the plan: Davies’ exceptional performances. That’s why Alaba was shifted to central defence when Davies staggered the watching world against Barcelona in August 2020, the teenage dynamo hugging the left touchline as he embarked on one of the greatest assists in Champions League history. First came the nonchalant dance past Lionel Messi in midfield, then a deft touch to eliminate Arturo Vidal, followed by a brutal toying with Nélson Semedo and a cutback from the byline for Joshua Kimmich to make it 5-2 in a devastating 8-2 win.
Nine days later, Davies was part of the Bayern side that edged Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 to lift the trophy, becoming the first Canadian international to clinch Europe’s grandest prize. This winter he was busy laying down markers again, cementing his long-term impact by notching Canada’s historic first goal at a World Cup. Less than two minutes into their tussle with Croatia, the wide man headed in the opener like Lewandowski himself, before the eventual semi-finalists battled back to win 4-1.
Despite the result, it was a powerful personal moment. Davies had been sidelined for more than three months at the start of 2022 with the heart condition myocarditis – one more major obstacle in his path – and he missed the crucial qualifier against Jamaica that sealed Canada’s finals spot. Well, ‘missed’ is probably not the best term: Davies watched every minute, streaming his reaction to the 4-0 victory live on Twitch as if he were an ordinary fan. He happily let his followers view his tearful response as his adopted nation secured their return after a 36-year absence.
There were more tears to come. “The last time I cried was in the World Cup, when we lost to Morocco to get kicked out,” says Davies, a testament to his winning mentality. By then, however, the Canucks had done enough to spread the game’s roots back home. And with Canada set to co-host the 2026 edition, there could be no more perfect poster boy than the jet-heeled full-back capable of cutting through the planet’s tightest defences.
“Some people see me as the face of Canada football, but I’m just part of the team,” he counters. “I was home for Christmas and definitely, there are more and more football fans. I think us being at the World Cup, it really turned some people’s heads. And now, not just in Canada but all around the world, we’re getting more and more recognition as a footballing nation.”
In the more immediate future, he and Bayern have multiple trophies to fight for this season, including their bid to secure a seventh European title. The youngster has climbed that daunting mountain before, but nothing in his life to date has left him with a sense of entitlement. “I’m still learning,” he says of his ongoing education at left-back. “I watch a lot of video with the coaches.
“Playing with these guys each and every day, you learn that the gap for mistakes is really, really small. Your first touch has to be the one to set you up to dribble or pass the ball. If the first touch is clean, you can distribute the ball or dribble past players. They give me the advice to just play my game. Focus on my defensive responsibilities, obviously, but going forward they want me to express myself in the attacking third. Put crosses in, shoot, all that stuff.”
All the good stuff that has already shot Davies to the forefront of world football, a gifted young man who remembers where he came from – while the rest of us wonder where he could go from here.