Alphonso Davies has helped attract a whole new audience to the Bundesliga, says Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge – but he wants to keep the hype around him in check.
The 19-year-old left-back burst onto the scene with a sensational breakout campaign in 2019-20, seizing his opportunity during an injury crisis at the club.
Davies made 43 appearances in all competitions as Bayern won the treble, and starred in the 8-2 demolition of Barcelona in the Champions League.
Despite his youth, the Canada international has emerged as a star of North American soccer, with around five million combined followers across Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.
“I sometimes follow him on Instagram, the boy is very authentic,” Rummenigge told Goal and DAZN.
“I also took a closer look at his resume and have to say that he is exactly what you expect from a footballer his age.
“He comes from a modest background, is scouted as a great talent by a top club, sees his opportunity and takes it into his hands. It’s good for all of us.
“People are of course excited about him. In the stadium, I always think to myself: when he starts, nobody can get away from him.
“He’s a guy who shot up from 0 to 100. Meanwhile, many football fans who are not interested in the Bundesliga know him.
“His dribbling against Barcelona was seen all over the world. A lot of people were like: What was that? Who is this guy? Let me put it this way: Our New York office is certainly very grateful for Alphonso Davies.”
With three goals and 10 assists in his debut season, plenty are already talking about Davies as the best left-back in the world.
Bayern are in no doubt as to the talent they have on their hands, but Rummenigge wants to keep the youngster’s feet on the ground.
“He contributed very well with his skills – especially with his speed – and his great character,” he said.
“But you shouldn’t forget that he didn’t play a role for us until autumn. It wasn’t until a few central defenders got injured and David Alaba moved into the middle that he got his chance.
“He was actually bought as a left winger. But you saw relatively quickly that he was not a dribbler à la Franck Ribery or Arjen Robben. As a left-back, he can best use his extraordinary speed.
“When I see him, I think to myself: ‘The boy is like an S-Bahn at full speed’. He’s also a good guy.
“Still, we can’t make the mistake of hyping him too much. He deserves to be talked about, of course, but he’s only 19. We as a club have to deal responsibly with this hype. Even as a 19-year-old you can have a stable character, but you shouldn’t overdo it.”