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Herdman on Davies: “You don’t want him to change…he is shaping the mentality of this new Canada.”

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Alphonso Davies is Canada’s superstar. 

Yes, the Canadian squad facing Costa Rica and Mexico in 2022 World Cup qualifying in Edmonton Friday and the following Tuesday boasts many top-level players plying their trade at big European clubs. The current crop of Canadian men is probably the nation’s best ever.

But the Ghana-born, Edmonton-raised winger is the squad’s talisman. Davies is the name even the most casual Canadian soccer fan knows.

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He’s won the German Bundesliga three times, the DFB-Pokal cup twice and the Champions League once with Bayer Munich. He’s been named to UEFA and Bundesliga teams of the season. And he’s only just turned 21-years-old.

And yet, what perhaps impresses Canada coach John Herdman most about his star player is his ability to stay true to himself despite all the success.

“He’s obviously matured and he’s had some wonderful experiences that I’m sure have shaped him,” said Herdman during a media conference Friday when asked about Davies. “(But) he’s just kept his identity.”

Davies “a kid at heart”

Davies finds a balance, bringing a good-natured confidence to every Canada camp, according to Herdman.

“He’s that kid at heart. When he’s in that environment he’s playful, he’s fun,” he said. “When he’s on the field, I don’t think he’s changed either. I think what he’s really been able to bring is a winning mentality and to speak with that level of confidence.”

And that confidence was apparent early in the final round of World Cup qualifying when the squad met to discuss Canada’s possible path to Qatar 2022.

“When we spoke about this journey in a team meeting and when we talked about the games that we expect to win on the road, you have Phonzie speaking I want to win all of them.

“And that’s his mentality. Coming from Bayern Munich he can really talk with that level of authority, but also to breed the confidence in the rest of the group.”

And Herdman admits he doesn’t see any reason he’d alter much with regards to Davies going forward.

“You don’t want him to change. You want him to keep bringing in everything that’s good about him. But he is shaping the mentality of this new Canada, and rightly so.”

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About Author

Editor of Total Soccer News | Photographer and Writer | Stuart Gradon is soccer journalist and multimedia professional, having worked at 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil and 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada. He covers Cavalry FC and Canadian Premier League. Stuart is available for media appearances, including podcasts, television, and radio. Email stuartgradon@totalsoccernews.com to inquire.

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