Vancouver Whitecaps homegrown Alphonso Davies first soccer player to develop into UN Refugee Company ambassador

Since departing Vancouver Whitecaps FC in 2018 for Bayern Munich, Alphonso Davies has collected a formidable coffer of non-public accolades and team trophies. 

Silverware apart, the 20-year-old Canada national team star can now name himself a UNHCR International Goodwill Ambassador, changing into the primary soccer player to carry that title. The decision was introduced Wednesday by the UN’s Refugee Company.

Whereas Davies grew up in Canada, his household fled Liberia as civil war engulfed the African country.  He was born in a Ghanaian refugee camp earlier than they relocated to Edmonton. 

“Alphonso Davies personifies the ability of sport and we’re really honored to have him becoming a member of us,” Filippo Grandi, the UN’s excessive commissioner for refugees, said in a launch. “Sport has the unimaginable energy to bring hope, to heal and to assist form the future for these forced to flee. In our work with refugees we see each day what uplifting distinction sports can make of their lives.

“His private story, his talent and triumph as knowledgeable footballer and his dedication to assist refugees is spectacular. I’m trying forward to working with him.”

The left back signed his first contract with Vancouver as a 15-year-old, finally tallying eight goals and 12 assists for Vancouver in 65 video games throughout three seasons. That drew the eye of European suitors, leading to Bayern shelling out a switch charge that would reportedly attain $22 million.

As Davies has loved a meteoric rise within the German Bundesliga, he hasn’t forgotten the challenges his household confronted. In a latest New York Instances story by Rory Smith, Davies outlined what it’s like rising up as a refugee. 

“I need individuals to know in regards to the significance of serving to refugees, wherever they’re, in camps or cities, in neighboring international locations or international locations of resettlement comparable to Canada,” Davies said within the UN’s launch. “Refugees want our assist to outlive, but additionally entry to training and sports, to allow them to fulfill their potential and really thrive.”

For extra about Davies’ journey, remember to verify out this Vancouver Whitecaps-produced documentary. It debuted in 2017, lengthy earlier than he grew to become an entrenched Bayern Munich star, and, as he defined within the NYT, it was how Davies first heard the first-hand accounts from his dad and mom of his time as a refugee.

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