Following the recent record-breaking signing of Alphonso Davies to Bayern Munich for $22 million, it has given hope to thousands of Canadian refugees hoping to find a better life through sport. 17-year-old Davies, a Libyan born refugee who has lived in Canada since he was 5, has already been tipped to be one of the best Canadian soccer players ever after a series of great performance for both club and country.
Bayern Munich plays this Saturday if you interested in watching Alphonso in action, and you can read online casino Canada reviews here for the best places to bet on the match.
Each story of his kind is always heart-warming, but there have been more examples from across the world of refugee soccer players managing to defy all expectations and make it to the top. We have compiled a list of some of the most successful refugee players in the world, some of which may surprise you.
Granit Xhaka | Arsenal and Switzerland
The Arsenal defender, who also plays for the Switzerland national team, may have found success as a soccer player at 25, but when his parents were his age things were a lot different.
His Albanian father was sentenced to 15 years in jail when he was just 22 for protesting for democracy in the nation, while in prison he was regularly beaten by his captors. Upon obtaining an early release, his parents moved to Basel, Switzerland for a better life where Granit was born and raised alongside his brother, Taulant, who is also a professional soccer for FC Basel and the Albanian National team.
Xhaka stays true to his Albanian roots and actually found himself in trouble during the World Cup 2018 alongside Xherdan Shaqiri, a fellow Swiss international with Albanian roots, for performing a celebrating which consisted of forming a two-headed eagle with their hands. A representation of the Albanian Flag.
Victor Moses | Chelsea & Nigeria
Victor Moses has played for various top-flights teams throughout his career, including West Ham, Liverpool, and Chelsea, as well as also recently scoring at the World Cup 2018 for Nigeria against Argentina from the penalty spot. He career has seen him obtain Premier League, FA Cup, UEFA League and Africa Cup of Nations winners medals over his career and still at 27, has plenty of time yet to achieve more.
However, when he arrived in England when was 10-years-old he was fleeing Nigeria as an orphan after both his parents were killed during religious conflicts in 2002. He started playing organized soccer when he was 13 and very soon after he had been picked up by Crystal Palace on a schoolboy contract which. As well as nurturing his soccer skills, it also allowed him to also achieve a private school education.
Luka Modric | Real Madrid & Croatia
This 32-year-old Croatian midfielder is at the top of his game, with numerous honours that include winning 3 consecutive Champions League with Real Madrid, becoming the first ever Croatian to be included in the FIFA World 11 and more recently as Captain of Croatia, he lead his nation to their first ever World Cup final, winning the tournaments Golden Ball award along the way for his efforts.
However, things may have been a lot different for Modric, as he became a refugee during the War of Croatian independence. When he was just 6, Serbian militants attacked his hometown, burnt his house to the ground and shot his grandfather. After this, he fled his birthplace for the city of Zadar, Croatia where he remembers hearing grenades as he played soccer in car parks.
Refugee Set-up In Canada
All these examples showcase the possibilities that can be achieved by refugees when given the opportunity in a new nation. Canada is one of the best for these opportunities, with major teams like Toronto FC trying new ways to involve the refugee community in soccer. Alphonso is one of the biggest successes from Canada, but the likes of Ali Audy, the Syrian 13-year-old who represented Canada at the youth World Cup 2016, and other refugees may soon follow in his footsteps.