Bayern Munich superstar Alphonso Davies has become the first footballer to be made a United Nations ambassador.
Davies, 20, has been given the UNHCR’s Global Goodwill Ambassador title after his inspirational story of being born in a refugee camp in Ghana to Liberian parents who had fled their war-torn country.
Bayern defender Davies and his family settled in Canada when he was aged five and he has since become one of the best footballers in the world.
Davies hopes his own story can inspire other refugees and be held up as an example and show the importance of trying to resettle families.
He said: “I want people to know about the importance of helping refugees, wherever they are, in camps or cities, in neighbouring countries or countries of resettlement such as Canada.
“Refugees need our support to survive, but also access to education and sports, so they can fulfil their potential and truly thrive.
“Whilst the refugee camp provided a safe place for my family when they fled war, I often wonder where I would have been if I had stayed there and not benefited from the opportunities I got thanks to resettlement.
“I don’t think I would have made it to where I am today.
⚽ He dreamed of playing professional football
🏆 He quickly gained a spot on the podium
✊ Now he's earning a place in history
— UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency (@Refugees) March 24, 2021
Filippo Grandi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, said: “Alphonso Davies personifies the power of sport and we are truly honoured to have him joining us.
“Sport has the incredible power to bring hope, to heal and to help shape the future for those forced to flee. In our work with refugees we see daily what uplifting difference sports can make in their lives.
“His personal story, his talent and triumph as professional footballer and his commitment to help refugees is impressive.
“I am looking forward to working with him.”
Davies started supporting UNHCR in 2020, including through a livestream tournament for refugees.
In February 2021, Davies helped launch a Canadian Government campaign, called Together for Learning, to promote access to quality education for refugees around the world.