Interview

Davies ready for Messi

It’s been quite a year for Bayern München left-back sensation Alphonso Davies. In his first full season with the seniors he has picked up a Bundesliga winner’s medal and won the Bundesliga Rookie of the Year award. Lightning fast – he broke the Bundesliga speed record with one run timed at 36.53km/h – he has made an impression in Europe as well, epitomised by his performance at both ends of the pitch against Chelsea in the first leg of the round of 16. He set up Robert Lewandowski for one goal at Stamford Bridge – he has three assists in the competition this season – and helped keep the Blues off the scoresheet at the other. Still just 19, he is now ready for the ultimate test: stopping Lionel Messi and Barcelona in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

From Ghana to Canada to Germany, and now to Lisbon for the last eight of the Champions League: it’s been quite a journey.

Yeah, it’s been amazing. Looking back, I’m lost for words really, with everything that’s going on in my life, so I’m just taking it all in.

Have you spoken to your family? What has been their reaction, especially going up against Barcelona?

Yeah, I spoke to my parents. Actually, my mum called me yesterday and then my dad hopped on the phone, and he was like, “So you’re playing against your favourite player, I see.” And I went, “Yeah.” And then we both started laughing on the phone. And honestly we couldn’t even believe it, because he knows that I looked up to Messi when I was younger. And now, playing against him, it’s really nice.

What did football mean to you when you were growing up, and what was it about the game that made you fall in love with it?

Football means a lot to me. Football is something where you can have fun and take your mind off everything you have problems with off the field. Every time I step on the field, I just enjoy playing the game. Me being a professional footballer, that was my dream and my dream is coming true, so I’m very happy for that.

I read a quote from one of your teachers, Miss Guzzo, and she said that you were the kid always smiling. Has much changed?

No, it hasn’t changed too much. I’m still the same person, still the same smiling Alphonso Davies. That was in Grade 4 when she said that. I’m happy to be the same person and always want to be the same person. I’ll stay the same person as I am.

You set a Bundesliga speed record this season. How important is speed to your game?

Speed is what I’m good at, what I’m known for. I’m happy to have that part of my game. I’m happy to use that, on the attack, on the defence, and help my team as much as possible with it.

What did playing for the Vancouver Whitecaps in MLS do for your career?

It was a great first step, coming into the academy, playing with the best kids throughout the province of Alberta. It was good, it was amazing for me. Then going up the rankings, playing with the second team and then making my debut at 15 with the first team, it was just incredible. I think it set me up really well for this opportunity.

Do you remember watching the Champions League when you were growing up?

I went to a football academy school, so every Wednesday or Tuesday, around 12 o’clock Edmonton time, we would watch it as a classroom. All of the footballers were in there, cheering on whoever they wanted to win. It was amazing, and now being able to play in the Champions League... Honestly, I’m lost for words – a dream come true. 

Do you think we saw the best of you against Chelsea in the first leg? You were defensively brilliant against Mason Mount at one end, and then we saw you storm forward to set up Bayern’s third at the other.

Yeah, I mean we all know Chelsea is a great team, a great young team. We know the quality of players they have, especially on my side: Mason Mount, Reece James – he’s one of the fast guys in the Premier League. When they came on the attack, I just had to concentrate as much as possible, to try to do my job defensively. And going forward, the coach just told me, “If you have the opportunity, go for it.” So that’s what I tried to do as much as possible.

How important do you think the position of full-back is now? Last year’s winners, Liverpool, have two flying full-backs.

Yeah, I think the full-back is a big key in the game, especially in modern-day football now. The full-back can actually be an attacker as well. So, the role is changing dramatically throughout the modern game.

Bayern v Barcelona. Do football matches get any bigger?

It’s going to be an incredible game. All I can say is that I am excited to play now and I’m sure everyone’s excited to watch as well.

You come across as so humble and so grounded. What are your emotions? Are you looking forward to testing yourself against Lionel Messi?

I don’t know what to say, but we all know that he’s Messi. There aren’t many things that haven’t been said about him. So, coming into the game, I know that growing up I used to watch him all the time and now I’m defending against him; it’s going to be a whole different ball game. But for me, it’s just playing my game, changing nothing on my side and just hopefully doing my best against him. We know that he’s a great player, we’re not going to take that away from him, so the best you can do is try, I guess.

Can Bayern go all the way?

Definitely, I do think so. From the performances we’ve been putting on, I really think we can go all the way and win this. I have full confidence in the team, full confidence in the coaching staff, and I think we’re ready to fight. 

You can get your copy of the 72-page Official 2020 Tournament Guide now on our sister site, european-nights.com. While you're there, why not pre-order your official 2020 UEFA Champions League Final Programme? Both the guide and programme are available in print and/or digital.

Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.

From Ghana to Canada to Germany, and now to Lisbon for the last eight of the Champions League: it’s been quite a journey.

Yeah, it’s been amazing. Looking back, I’m lost for words really, with everything that’s going on in my life, so I’m just taking it all in.

Have you spoken to your family? What has been their reaction, especially going up against Barcelona?

Yeah, I spoke to my parents. Actually, my mum called me yesterday and then my dad hopped on the phone, and he was like, “So you’re playing against your favourite player, I see.” And I went, “Yeah.” And then we both started laughing on the phone. And honestly we couldn’t even believe it, because he knows that I looked up to Messi when I was younger. And now, playing against him, it’s really nice.

What did football mean to you when you were growing up, and what was it about the game that made you fall in love with it?

Football means a lot to me. Football is something where you can have fun and take your mind off everything you have problems with off the field. Every time I step on the field, I just enjoy playing the game. Me being a professional footballer, that was my dream and my dream is coming true, so I’m very happy for that.

I read a quote from one of your teachers, Miss Guzzo, and she said that you were the kid always smiling. Has much changed?

No, it hasn’t changed too much. I’m still the same person, still the same smiling Alphonso Davies. That was in Grade 4 when she said that. I’m happy to be the same person and always want to be the same person. I’ll stay the same person as I am.

You set a Bundesliga speed record this season. How important is speed to your game?

Speed is what I’m good at, what I’m known for. I’m happy to have that part of my game. I’m happy to use that, on the attack, on the defence, and help my team as much as possible with it.

What did playing for the Vancouver Whitecaps in MLS do for your career?

It was a great first step, coming into the academy, playing with the best kids throughout the province of Alberta. It was good, it was amazing for me. Then going up the rankings, playing with the second team and then making my debut at 15 with the first team, it was just incredible. I think it set me up really well for this opportunity.

Do you remember watching the Champions League when you were growing up?

I went to a football academy school, so every Wednesday or Tuesday, around 12 o’clock Edmonton time, we would watch it as a classroom. All of the footballers were in there, cheering on whoever they wanted to win. It was amazing, and now being able to play in the Champions League... Honestly, I’m lost for words – a dream come true. 

Do you think we saw the best of you against Chelsea in the first leg? You were defensively brilliant against Mason Mount at one end, and then we saw you storm forward to set up Bayern’s third at the other.

Yeah, I mean we all know Chelsea is a great team, a great young team. We know the quality of players they have, especially on my side: Mason Mount, Reece James – he’s one of the fast guys in the Premier League. When they came on the attack, I just had to concentrate as much as possible, to try to do my job defensively. And going forward, the coach just told me, “If you have the opportunity, go for it.” So that’s what I tried to do as much as possible.

How important do you think the position of full-back is now? Last year’s winners, Liverpool, have two flying full-backs.

Yeah, I think the full-back is a big key in the game, especially in modern-day football now. The full-back can actually be an attacker as well. So, the role is changing dramatically throughout the modern game.

Bayern v Barcelona. Do football matches get any bigger?

It’s going to be an incredible game. All I can say is that I am excited to play now and I’m sure everyone’s excited to watch as well.

You come across as so humble and so grounded. What are your emotions? Are you looking forward to testing yourself against Lionel Messi?

I don’t know what to say, but we all know that he’s Messi. There aren’t many things that haven’t been said about him. So, coming into the game, I know that growing up I used to watch him all the time and now I’m defending against him; it’s going to be a whole different ball game. But for me, it’s just playing my game, changing nothing on my side and just hopefully doing my best against him. We know that he’s a great player, we’re not going to take that away from him, so the best you can do is try, I guess.

Can Bayern go all the way?

Definitely, I do think so. From the performances we’ve been putting on, I really think we can go all the way and win this. I have full confidence in the team, full confidence in the coaching staff, and I think we’re ready to fight. 

You can get your copy of the 72-page Official 2020 Tournament Guide now on our sister site, european-nights.com. While you're there, why not pre-order your official 2020 UEFA Champions League Final Programme? Both the guide and programme are available in print and/or digital.

Read the full story
Sign up now to get access to this and every premium feature on Champions Journal. You will also get access to member-only competitions and offers. And you get all of that completely free!

From Ghana to Canada to Germany, and now to Lisbon for the last eight of the Champions League: it’s been quite a journey.

Yeah, it’s been amazing. Looking back, I’m lost for words really, with everything that’s going on in my life, so I’m just taking it all in.

Have you spoken to your family? What has been their reaction, especially going up against Barcelona?

Yeah, I spoke to my parents. Actually, my mum called me yesterday and then my dad hopped on the phone, and he was like, “So you’re playing against your favourite player, I see.” And I went, “Yeah.” And then we both started laughing on the phone. And honestly we couldn’t even believe it, because he knows that I looked up to Messi when I was younger. And now, playing against him, it’s really nice.

What did football mean to you when you were growing up, and what was it about the game that made you fall in love with it?

Football means a lot to me. Football is something where you can have fun and take your mind off everything you have problems with off the field. Every time I step on the field, I just enjoy playing the game. Me being a professional footballer, that was my dream and my dream is coming true, so I’m very happy for that.

I read a quote from one of your teachers, Miss Guzzo, and she said that you were the kid always smiling. Has much changed?

No, it hasn’t changed too much. I’m still the same person, still the same smiling Alphonso Davies. That was in Grade 4 when she said that. I’m happy to be the same person and always want to be the same person. I’ll stay the same person as I am.

You set a Bundesliga speed record this season. How important is speed to your game?

Speed is what I’m good at, what I’m known for. I’m happy to have that part of my game. I’m happy to use that, on the attack, on the defence, and help my team as much as possible with it.

What did playing for the Vancouver Whitecaps in MLS do for your career?

It was a great first step, coming into the academy, playing with the best kids throughout the province of Alberta. It was good, it was amazing for me. Then going up the rankings, playing with the second team and then making my debut at 15 with the first team, it was just incredible. I think it set me up really well for this opportunity.

Do you remember watching the Champions League when you were growing up?

I went to a football academy school, so every Wednesday or Tuesday, around 12 o’clock Edmonton time, we would watch it as a classroom. All of the footballers were in there, cheering on whoever they wanted to win. It was amazing, and now being able to play in the Champions League... Honestly, I’m lost for words – a dream come true. 

Do you think we saw the best of you against Chelsea in the first leg? You were defensively brilliant against Mason Mount at one end, and then we saw you storm forward to set up Bayern’s third at the other.

Yeah, I mean we all know Chelsea is a great team, a great young team. We know the quality of players they have, especially on my side: Mason Mount, Reece James – he’s one of the fast guys in the Premier League. When they came on the attack, I just had to concentrate as much as possible, to try to do my job defensively. And going forward, the coach just told me, “If you have the opportunity, go for it.” So that’s what I tried to do as much as possible.

How important do you think the position of full-back is now? Last year’s winners, Liverpool, have two flying full-backs.

Yeah, I think the full-back is a big key in the game, especially in modern-day football now. The full-back can actually be an attacker as well. So, the role is changing dramatically throughout the modern game.

Bayern v Barcelona. Do football matches get any bigger?

It’s going to be an incredible game. All I can say is that I am excited to play now and I’m sure everyone’s excited to watch as well.

You come across as so humble and so grounded. What are your emotions? Are you looking forward to testing yourself against Lionel Messi?

I don’t know what to say, but we all know that he’s Messi. There aren’t many things that haven’t been said about him. So, coming into the game, I know that growing up I used to watch him all the time and now I’m defending against him; it’s going to be a whole different ball game. But for me, it’s just playing my game, changing nothing on my side and just hopefully doing my best against him. We know that he’s a great player, we’re not going to take that away from him, so the best you can do is try, I guess.

Can Bayern go all the way?

Definitely, I do think so. From the performances we’ve been putting on, I really think we can go all the way and win this. I have full confidence in the team, full confidence in the coaching staff, and I think we’re ready to fight. 

You can get your copy of the 72-page Official 2020 Tournament Guide now on our sister site, european-nights.com. While you're there, why not pre-order your official 2020 UEFA Champions League Final Programme? Both the guide and programme are available in print and/or digital.

Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.

Interview

Davies ready for Messi

It’s been quite a year for Bayern München left-back sensation Alphonso Davies. In his first full season with the seniors he has picked up a Bundesliga winner’s medal and won the Bundesliga Rookie of the Year award. Lightning fast – he broke the Bundesliga speed record with one run timed at 36.53km/h – he has made an impression in Europe as well, epitomised by his performance at both ends of the pitch against Chelsea in the first leg of the round of 16. He set up Robert Lewandowski for one goal at Stamford Bridge – he has three assists in the competition this season – and helped keep the Blues off the scoresheet at the other. Still just 19, he is now ready for the ultimate test: stopping Lionel Messi and Barcelona in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

From Ghana to Canada to Germany, and now to Lisbon for the last eight of the Champions League: it’s been quite a journey.

Yeah, it’s been amazing. Looking back, I’m lost for words really, with everything that’s going on in my life, so I’m just taking it all in.

Have you spoken to your family? What has been their reaction, especially going up against Barcelona?

Yeah, I spoke to my parents. Actually, my mum called me yesterday and then my dad hopped on the phone, and he was like, “So you’re playing against your favourite player, I see.” And I went, “Yeah.” And then we both started laughing on the phone. And honestly we couldn’t even believe it, because he knows that I looked up to Messi when I was younger. And now, playing against him, it’s really nice.

What did football mean to you when you were growing up, and what was it about the game that made you fall in love with it?

Football means a lot to me. Football is something where you can have fun and take your mind off everything you have problems with off the field. Every time I step on the field, I just enjoy playing the game. Me being a professional footballer, that was my dream and my dream is coming true, so I’m very happy for that.

I read a quote from one of your teachers, Miss Guzzo, and she said that you were the kid always smiling. Has much changed?

No, it hasn’t changed too much. I’m still the same person, still the same smiling Alphonso Davies. That was in Grade 4 when she said that. I’m happy to be the same person and always want to be the same person. I’ll stay the same person as I am.

You set a Bundesliga speed record this season. How important is speed to your game?

Speed is what I’m good at, what I’m known for. I’m happy to have that part of my game. I’m happy to use that, on the attack, on the defence, and help my team as much as possible with it.

What did playing for the Vancouver Whitecaps in MLS do for your career?

It was a great first step, coming into the academy, playing with the best kids throughout the province of Alberta. It was good, it was amazing for me. Then going up the rankings, playing with the second team and then making my debut at 15 with the first team, it was just incredible. I think it set me up really well for this opportunity.

Do you remember watching the Champions League when you were growing up?

I went to a football academy school, so every Wednesday or Tuesday, around 12 o’clock Edmonton time, we would watch it as a classroom. All of the footballers were in there, cheering on whoever they wanted to win. It was amazing, and now being able to play in the Champions League... Honestly, I’m lost for words – a dream come true. 

Do you think we saw the best of you against Chelsea in the first leg? You were defensively brilliant against Mason Mount at one end, and then we saw you storm forward to set up Bayern’s third at the other.

Yeah, I mean we all know Chelsea is a great team, a great young team. We know the quality of players they have, especially on my side: Mason Mount, Reece James – he’s one of the fast guys in the Premier League. When they came on the attack, I just had to concentrate as much as possible, to try to do my job defensively. And going forward, the coach just told me, “If you have the opportunity, go for it.” So that’s what I tried to do as much as possible.

How important do you think the position of full-back is now? Last year’s winners, Liverpool, have two flying full-backs.

Yeah, I think the full-back is a big key in the game, especially in modern-day football now. The full-back can actually be an attacker as well. So, the role is changing dramatically throughout the modern game.

Bayern v Barcelona. Do football matches get any bigger?

It’s going to be an incredible game. All I can say is that I am excited to play now and I’m sure everyone’s excited to watch as well.

You come across as so humble and so grounded. What are your emotions? Are you looking forward to testing yourself against Lionel Messi?

I don’t know what to say, but we all know that he’s Messi. There aren’t many things that haven’t been said about him. So, coming into the game, I know that growing up I used to watch him all the time and now I’m defending against him; it’s going to be a whole different ball game. But for me, it’s just playing my game, changing nothing on my side and just hopefully doing my best against him. We know that he’s a great player, we’re not going to take that away from him, so the best you can do is try, I guess.

Can Bayern go all the way?

Definitely, I do think so. From the performances we’ve been putting on, I really think we can go all the way and win this. I have full confidence in the team, full confidence in the coaching staff, and I think we’re ready to fight. 

You can get your copy of the 72-page Official 2020 Tournament Guide now on our sister site, european-nights.com. While you're there, why not pre-order your official 2020 UEFA Champions League Final Programme? Both the guide and programme are available in print and/or digital.

Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.

From Ghana to Canada to Germany, and now to Lisbon for the last eight of the Champions League: it’s been quite a journey.

Yeah, it’s been amazing. Looking back, I’m lost for words really, with everything that’s going on in my life, so I’m just taking it all in.

Have you spoken to your family? What has been their reaction, especially going up against Barcelona?

Yeah, I spoke to my parents. Actually, my mum called me yesterday and then my dad hopped on the phone, and he was like, “So you’re playing against your favourite player, I see.” And I went, “Yeah.” And then we both started laughing on the phone. And honestly we couldn’t even believe it, because he knows that I looked up to Messi when I was younger. And now, playing against him, it’s really nice.

What did football mean to you when you were growing up, and what was it about the game that made you fall in love with it?

Football means a lot to me. Football is something where you can have fun and take your mind off everything you have problems with off the field. Every time I step on the field, I just enjoy playing the game. Me being a professional footballer, that was my dream and my dream is coming true, so I’m very happy for that.

I read a quote from one of your teachers, Miss Guzzo, and she said that you were the kid always smiling. Has much changed?

No, it hasn’t changed too much. I’m still the same person, still the same smiling Alphonso Davies. That was in Grade 4 when she said that. I’m happy to be the same person and always want to be the same person. I’ll stay the same person as I am.

You set a Bundesliga speed record this season. How important is speed to your game?

Speed is what I’m good at, what I’m known for. I’m happy to have that part of my game. I’m happy to use that, on the attack, on the defence, and help my team as much as possible with it.

What did playing for the Vancouver Whitecaps in MLS do for your career?

It was a great first step, coming into the academy, playing with the best kids throughout the province of Alberta. It was good, it was amazing for me. Then going up the rankings, playing with the second team and then making my debut at 15 with the first team, it was just incredible. I think it set me up really well for this opportunity.

Do you remember watching the Champions League when you were growing up?

I went to a football academy school, so every Wednesday or Tuesday, around 12 o’clock Edmonton time, we would watch it as a classroom. All of the footballers were in there, cheering on whoever they wanted to win. It was amazing, and now being able to play in the Champions League... Honestly, I’m lost for words – a dream come true. 

Do you think we saw the best of you against Chelsea in the first leg? You were defensively brilliant against Mason Mount at one end, and then we saw you storm forward to set up Bayern’s third at the other.

Yeah, I mean we all know Chelsea is a great team, a great young team. We know the quality of players they have, especially on my side: Mason Mount, Reece James – he’s one of the fast guys in the Premier League. When they came on the attack, I just had to concentrate as much as possible, to try to do my job defensively. And going forward, the coach just told me, “If you have the opportunity, go for it.” So that’s what I tried to do as much as possible.

How important do you think the position of full-back is now? Last year’s winners, Liverpool, have two flying full-backs.

Yeah, I think the full-back is a big key in the game, especially in modern-day football now. The full-back can actually be an attacker as well. So, the role is changing dramatically throughout the modern game.

Bayern v Barcelona. Do football matches get any bigger?

It’s going to be an incredible game. All I can say is that I am excited to play now and I’m sure everyone’s excited to watch as well.

You come across as so humble and so grounded. What are your emotions? Are you looking forward to testing yourself against Lionel Messi?

I don’t know what to say, but we all know that he’s Messi. There aren’t many things that haven’t been said about him. So, coming into the game, I know that growing up I used to watch him all the time and now I’m defending against him; it’s going to be a whole different ball game. But for me, it’s just playing my game, changing nothing on my side and just hopefully doing my best against him. We know that he’s a great player, we’re not going to take that away from him, so the best you can do is try, I guess.

Can Bayern go all the way?

Definitely, I do think so. From the performances we’ve been putting on, I really think we can go all the way and win this. I have full confidence in the team, full confidence in the coaching staff, and I think we’re ready to fight. 

You can get your copy of the 72-page Official 2020 Tournament Guide now on our sister site, european-nights.com. While you're there, why not pre-order your official 2020 UEFA Champions League Final Programme? Both the guide and programme are available in print and/or digital.

Read the full story
Sign up now to get access to this and every premium feature on Champions Journal. You will also get access to member-only competitions and offers. And you get all of that completely free!

From Ghana to Canada to Germany, and now to Lisbon for the last eight of the Champions League: it’s been quite a journey.

Yeah, it’s been amazing. Looking back, I’m lost for words really, with everything that’s going on in my life, so I’m just taking it all in.

Have you spoken to your family? What has been their reaction, especially going up against Barcelona?

Yeah, I spoke to my parents. Actually, my mum called me yesterday and then my dad hopped on the phone, and he was like, “So you’re playing against your favourite player, I see.” And I went, “Yeah.” And then we both started laughing on the phone. And honestly we couldn’t even believe it, because he knows that I looked up to Messi when I was younger. And now, playing against him, it’s really nice.

What did football mean to you when you were growing up, and what was it about the game that made you fall in love with it?

Football means a lot to me. Football is something where you can have fun and take your mind off everything you have problems with off the field. Every time I step on the field, I just enjoy playing the game. Me being a professional footballer, that was my dream and my dream is coming true, so I’m very happy for that.

I read a quote from one of your teachers, Miss Guzzo, and she said that you were the kid always smiling. Has much changed?

No, it hasn’t changed too much. I’m still the same person, still the same smiling Alphonso Davies. That was in Grade 4 when she said that. I’m happy to be the same person and always want to be the same person. I’ll stay the same person as I am.

You set a Bundesliga speed record this season. How important is speed to your game?

Speed is what I’m good at, what I’m known for. I’m happy to have that part of my game. I’m happy to use that, on the attack, on the defence, and help my team as much as possible with it.

What did playing for the Vancouver Whitecaps in MLS do for your career?

It was a great first step, coming into the academy, playing with the best kids throughout the province of Alberta. It was good, it was amazing for me. Then going up the rankings, playing with the second team and then making my debut at 15 with the first team, it was just incredible. I think it set me up really well for this opportunity.

Do you remember watching the Champions League when you were growing up?

I went to a football academy school, so every Wednesday or Tuesday, around 12 o’clock Edmonton time, we would watch it as a classroom. All of the footballers were in there, cheering on whoever they wanted to win. It was amazing, and now being able to play in the Champions League... Honestly, I’m lost for words – a dream come true. 

Do you think we saw the best of you against Chelsea in the first leg? You were defensively brilliant against Mason Mount at one end, and then we saw you storm forward to set up Bayern’s third at the other.

Yeah, I mean we all know Chelsea is a great team, a great young team. We know the quality of players they have, especially on my side: Mason Mount, Reece James – he’s one of the fast guys in the Premier League. When they came on the attack, I just had to concentrate as much as possible, to try to do my job defensively. And going forward, the coach just told me, “If you have the opportunity, go for it.” So that’s what I tried to do as much as possible.

How important do you think the position of full-back is now? Last year’s winners, Liverpool, have two flying full-backs.

Yeah, I think the full-back is a big key in the game, especially in modern-day football now. The full-back can actually be an attacker as well. So, the role is changing dramatically throughout the modern game.

Bayern v Barcelona. Do football matches get any bigger?

It’s going to be an incredible game. All I can say is that I am excited to play now and I’m sure everyone’s excited to watch as well.

You come across as so humble and so grounded. What are your emotions? Are you looking forward to testing yourself against Lionel Messi?

I don’t know what to say, but we all know that he’s Messi. There aren’t many things that haven’t been said about him. So, coming into the game, I know that growing up I used to watch him all the time and now I’m defending against him; it’s going to be a whole different ball game. But for me, it’s just playing my game, changing nothing on my side and just hopefully doing my best against him. We know that he’s a great player, we’re not going to take that away from him, so the best you can do is try, I guess.

Can Bayern go all the way?

Definitely, I do think so. From the performances we’ve been putting on, I really think we can go all the way and win this. I have full confidence in the team, full confidence in the coaching staff, and I think we’re ready to fight. 

You can get your copy of the 72-page Official 2020 Tournament Guide now on our sister site, european-nights.com. While you're there, why not pre-order your official 2020 UEFA Champions League Final Programme? Both the guide and programme are available in print and/or digital.

Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.

To access this article, as well as all CJ+ content and competitions, you will need a subscription to Champions Journal.
Already a subscriber? Sign in
close