MUNICH, Germany — Bayern Munich forward Alphonso Davies had an eventful 48 hours. Saturday he traveled with the team to Berlin, where Bayern faced RB Leipzig in the German Cup final.
Bayern won that game, but Davies did not feature in the squad.
That, however, did not stop him from taking part in the festivities until 2 a.m. Sunday morning. He then boarded at Berlin Tegel Airport in the morning to jet back to Munich.
Davies’, however, did not go back early to celebrate the double of the German championship and the cup with his teammates on Munich’s central square, but to play a crucial promotion game with Bayern’s reserve side Sunday.
“Big boys don’t cry,” Bayern president Uli Hoeneß told Pro Soccer USA on Sunday after Bayern II’s game against Wolfsburg II when asked about Davies’ whirlwind tour from Berlin to Munich.
The 67-year-old former player and now all-powerful president of Bayern Munich was in a joyous mood. Not only was he celebrating Bayern’s titles, but also that Bayern’s Amateure, as the second side is known, secured promotion to the third division in the most dramatic fashion.
⚽️#Bayern with a big comeback
⚽️Alphonso Davies watch
⚽️Match analysis pic.twitter.com/3W4aIj1IXd
— Manuel Veth (@ManuelVeth) May 26, 2019
While the top three divisions in Germany are a single structure, the fourth division is composed of five regional leagues, called Regionalligas. Three of the five champions — this year, the winners of the Regionalliga West, Nordost and Südwest — were granted automatic promotion, and the winners of the Regionalliga Bayern and Nord had to face each other in a two-legged playoff.
So though Bayern II won their division, they faced Regionalliga Nord champion Wolfsburg II, the reserve side of the Bundesliga club VfL Wolfsburg. Bayern had lost the first leg 3-1, but overturned the result in dramatic fashion at Munich’s Grünwalder Stadion.
“We went down 3-1 in Wolfsburg, but we didn’t crumble, we didn’t give up,” Davies said to Pro Soccer USA after the game. “We came out on our own turf and we showed the fight that FC Bayern has.”
In the end, Bayern’s Amateure won the game 4-1 in front of an announced 7,100 visitors, and Davies played a big part in the comeback. In fact, the 18-year-old showed little signs of his late-night adventures following Bayern’s cup triumph in Berlin.
“When it comes to important matters, you don’t need sleep,” Hoeneß said. “Especially when you are young.”
“I got quite a bit of sleep,” Davies said. “Yeah, I went out and hung out with the guys, but I went back to the hotel at a reasonable time. This game was very important, not just the German Cup final.”
For Davies, it has been a half season of ups and downs. An injury in the spring not only kept him away from Canada’s Gold Cup qualifier against French Guiana in March, but also limited him to just 74 minutes in the first team.
Nonetheless, the 18-year-old draws positives out of having played 380 minutes with Bayern’s Amateure.
“It has been good, obviously, to get to play,” Davies said. “I am leaving on a high winning two trophies, helping [Bayern II] win. I am just happy I can help in any way.”
Said Hoeneß: “Davies is a great lad, who I like a lot. He is developing and I am 100 percent sure that with him, we have a player who will be excellent at Bayern one day.
“It is good [to hear this],” Davies said when asked about Hoeneß’s comments. “Obviously, they didn’t want to rush me, slowly build me up and get me some game time and get comfortable on the ball. Coming as a kid from Canada and now playing for one of the best teams in the world is difficult at first, but they took their time with me, and their plan was a good one.”
One thing that stood out for Davies was playing with Bayern legends Frank Ribéry and Arjen Robben. Both will leave the club this season after having won countless titles with Bayern.
Davies was partly brought in to help replace the wingers in the medium-term, and playing with both of them for half a year was an important part of his development.
“There is not much you can say about those guys that hasn’t been said,” Davies said. “These guys they are amazing. They are super players.”
At the same time, he is aware Bayern will always look at other players to further develop the squad. One such player, for example, could be German national teamer Leroy Sané, who is rumoured to join the club from Manchester City.
“They see something in him. They saw something in me. That is why they brought me in, and probably him,” the Canadian said. “Sané is a top-class winger playing for a top country. I can learn from him.”
While Sané’s potential arrival does not worry Davies, his German lessons are quite a different story.
“It is better now. Obviously I am surrounded by Germans all the time, so I am picking it up,” he said. “There is one word that I cannot say; it is referee.”
It is admittedly a hard one: Schiedsrichter. Thankfully, there is a short form: Schiri.
“I can say that,” Davies said with a laugh.
Davies’ German lessons will be put on hold for now as the teenager travels back to North America to represent Canada at the Gold Cup, an opportunity he is looking forward to.
“I am excited. The Gold Cup [in 2017] was when I broke into the big stage of football,” Davies said. “Canada is a good country and we have a lot of fight, and us going into that one will be something special.”