After six games and 205 days away, Alphonso Davies made a triumphant return to international action with the Canadian Men’s National Team on Thursday.
The Bayern Munich star spent a lengthy spell on the sidelines after being diagnosed with myocarditis, subsequently missing the CanMNT’s final six World Cup qualifiers.
Although the Canucks still managed to qualify for Qatar 2022 – their first World Cup since 1986 and second ever – without Davies, his return was felt on Thursday with two goals in a 4-0 Concacaf Nations League win over Curaçao.
After that win, head coach John Herdman spoke of the ‘privilege’ of being able to work alongside such a talented player and the ‘infectious’ energy Davies brings to the CanMNT.
“It’s brilliant,” Herdman said of Davies’ return, continuing: “To think we went half of that World Cup qualifying campaign without him, that’s absolutely crazy.
“He was desperate to get back and score this week. His attitude and energy is just so infectious. I love coaching him and working with him. I was with him for a good half-an-hour last night setting him up for this game and he’s just a gift. I’m privileged to work with a player of that quality.
“He just loves the game… [he’s] just a great human being.”
For Davies, Thursday night was extra special in that it offered him the chance to play in front of a crowd at BC Place, the home of his former MLS club Vancouver Whitecaps.
“I’m happy to be back on the pitch, especially in front of the Vancouver people. I’m happy to be back with the team and that we were able to get the three points today,” the 21-year-old said, taking a break from a lengthy session of signing autographs for supporters.
After jumping straight to the top of their Nations League group on goal difference with this opening win, Canada face a tough trip to Honduras on Monday.
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