Canada celebrates first professional soccer player


The nation of Canada rejoiced this weekend upon the successful ascension of their first ever professional soccer player. On Sunday night European heavyweights Bayern Munich defeated Qatari-backed French champions PSG to hoist the exalted Champions League trophy for the sixth time in their history. But it wasn’t just fans of the German club that were celebrating. On the other side of the Atlantic, the nation of Canada was jubilant as reports were confirmed that they finally had a professional soccer player.

Nineteen year old, Alphonso Davies, started at Left Back for the Germans and made a series of impressive displays throughout the Champions League campaign, culminating in the final. The much talked about wonderkid joined Bayern Munich at the age of 17 from the Vancouver Whitecaps for $22 million, a club record for the MLS team. Davies has now chalked up nearly 50 appearances for the German giants and looks to be a generational talent, which is all the more impressive considering he is Canadian. Now a Champions League winner he is a confirmed professional.

Canada has long wished for a professional soccer player but despite having three MLS franchises and a future as co-hosts for the upcoming 2026 World Cup the impression in Canada is that the quality of soccer simply isn’t up to scratch. Critics will quickly point to female players such as legendary captain Christine Sinclair who has amassed nearly 300 appearances and 186 goals in 20 years as a Canadian international. Despite the fact that Sinclair and the female members of team Canada enjoy vastly more success and popularity than their male counterparts, some cling onto the belief that their status as “professional” will always be in doubt until they can win a major international honour such as the Women’s World Cup or an Olympic Gold. Some will say that this is yet another example of women being held to a higher standard, others will say it is just representative of how bad the men’s team really is. 

Nonetheless, Davies’ ascension, all the more remarkable because of his age, has totally delighted fans. It was a tight race with Davies beating off the likes of Julian de Guzman, who leads the Canadian men’s team in appearances with 89 and amassed nearly 400 club appearances playing in Germany, France, Spain, Greece, and the MLS. Dwayne de Rosario, team Canada’s all-time top scorer, was also close to the mark. While Lille’s Jonathan David, who recently earned the record for most expensive Canadian player, may have to contend for second place – that is, if he can eventually win a Champions League. 

Ottawan, Clarke Loon was glowing about the youngster, “this is the first time that we have been proud of our country in a long, long time. Having a Champions league winner representing our country – what a moment! It’s like soccer in this country is born again. Or rather, for the first time.” Asked about others who have made their mark on team Canada he was quick to distinguish, “When you’re talking about being a professional what you really mean is being a winner. Sure, Julian de Guzman played nearly 100 games for Canada and 400 games in top teams but that doesn’t make him a professional. It just makes him experienced. There’s a difference.” Intent to emphasize the line of demarcation, he continued, “Put it this way. With Guzman, we weren’t happy about him, we were happy for him. Because he was on a team that won a big trophy, Davies actually gets us excited about the possibilities. Trophies equal trophies. It’s just like money.”

This is a proud moment for Canada who can happily claim to have a professional soccer player before such soccer-mad countries as Chile, Greece, Ecuador, Turkey, and Colombia.

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