‘100% win rate against Messi’ Canadian DF says “soccer is not a one-on-one fight”

Alfonso Davies (23-Bayern Munich) looks nervous as he prepares to face Lionel Messi once again.

The 2024 Copa America is set to kick off in June. Eight years after the 2016 Copa America Centenario, the tournament will bring together the nations of the Confederation of South American, North American and Caribbean Football Associations. Most notably, “emerging powerhouse” Canada is making its first-ever appearance.

Canada will compete in Group A with Argentina, Peru, and Chile. It’s been called the “Group of Death” because it’s made up of the toughest teams in each seeding. Nevertheless, Canada’s prospects are not dire. In fact, they’ve been labeled an upset team.

Led by veteran Junior Hoilett (Aberdeen), they have a good mix of depth across multiple positions, including Alfonso, Teigeon Buchanan (Inter), Liam Miller (Preston North End), Jonathan David (Lille OSC), and Kyle Larin (RCD Mallorca). They also have international experience from the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar, where they were eliminated in the group stage.

Especially ahead of the Argentina game, the “Alfonso’s Odds Against Messi” has gotten a lot of attention in Canada. Alfonso has faced Messi three times in his career, winning all three.

Their first meeting was in the UEFA Champions League (UCL) quarterfinals of the 2019/20 season between Barcelona and Munich, coincidentally the same season as the Garma disaster. The then-young Alfonso played 84 minutes and set up Joshua Kimmich for the winner as Munich won 8-2 to advance to the quarterfinals.

The second and third meetings between Paris Saint-Germain and Munich came in March of last year, in the round of 16 of the UCL 2022/23 season, with Alfonso’s Bavarians winning 1-0 away and 2-0 at home to reach the quarterfinals. Both matches featured Alfonso and Messi, with Alfonso picking up an assist in the first leg.

The record doesn’t seem to bother Alfonso at all. “Argentina will be full of confidence because they are world champions,” he told US outlet CBS Sports, adding, “Records don’t matter. Playing for your country is a different matter, and soccer is not a one-on-one fight. It’s a team effort.”

Alfonso also expressed his admiration for the Argentine national team and Messi. “To be honest, all I can say is that they are the best team in the world. I’m happy to be able to compete with them, especially with the best player in the world,” he said, reminding us that the Copa America is just around the corner.


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