Before the soccer world was put on hold, former Vancouver Whitecaps Homegrown star Alphonso Davies was breaking out in the Bundesliga for Bayern Munich.
The 19-year-old sensation was emerging as one of the league's most exciting young players after moving to left back -- a human highlight-reel with performances like his dominant shift in Bayern's 3-0 UEFA Champions League rout of Chelsea becoming a seemingly weekly occurrence.
Davies joined renowned broadcaster Gary Lineker -- a former star player in his own right -- for an interview released by The Guardian on Friday to discuss his breakout season and his journey starting as a child refugee in Ghana, to Canada (where he moved at the age of five) to one of the top clubs in the world.
It's certainly been a meteoric rise for a player who still hasn't reached his 20th birthday, but is already tearing up the Bundesliga and was named Canada's men's player of the year in 2018. Asked what he recalled about the process that led to his signing with Bayern Munich, Davies said he was as surprised as anyone that it was the German giants that came calling.
"There were rumors in the air that all these different clubs were looking at me but I didn't know which specific clubs," Davies told Lineker. "No one told me anything. And then I got a message: 'Bayern Munich want to meet you.' I was like: 'Oh my god. Really?' It was both exciting and scary. I just had to prove to myself that I could compete at this level.
"[Winning men's player of the year] makes me feel like all the hard work I've been doing over the years is really paying off," he added. "The coach saw something in me when I became a citizen of Canada and he took me to the national team camp... Being men's player of the year was a shock!"
Davies and Lineker also discussed his support of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which he said carries significance for him because of his personal journey. Davies was born in a refugee camp in the Gomoa East District of Ghana before he and his parents came to Canada when he was five years old, starting in Windsor, Ontario before relocating to Edmonton and eventually landing in Vancouver, where he joined Whitecaps Residency in 2015.
"I want to use my platform to talk about refugees and my personal story to inspire people to reach out and help," Davies said. "It's so hard for people in refugee camps to do any kind of social distancing. They need clean water, soap to wash their hands and food."
Davies also discussed his interests outside of soccer -- including his active Tik Tok channel -- and his career aspirations for when he's done playing.