Alphonso Davies has given the Canadian Men’s National Team a huge boost by declaring himself fit to face Belgium on Wednesday.
Les Rouges open their Group F campaign against the Red Devils looking to make an impression in their first World Cup match since 1986.
Head coach John Herdman has been sweating over the fitness of Davies, as well as FC Porto midfielder Stephen Eustaquio and experienced Red Star goalkeeper Milan Borjan.
Speaking on Saturday, Herdman said of Davies: “He hasn’t hit that top speed yet and when you have hamstring injuries that’s always the key moment. That’s when the hamstring is pushed to its limits.”
However, when questioned on Sunday after an incident-free training session, Davies himself was far more optimistic.
“I’m ready to start,” he bluntly replied when asked by reporters about his fitness for Wednesday’s opener.
Put simply, having Davies fit and healthy might just prove the difference between Canada competing and crashing in Qatar.
The CanMNT aren’t to be underestimated, of course, with prolific forwards like Jonathan David and Cyle Larin in their ranks. But Davies is a star above all others.
Already one of the best left-backs in the world at club level with Bayern Munich, the former Vancouver Whitecaps man brings attacking thrust and world-class pedigree to Herdman’s side, unlike any other.
Safe to say Davies’ teammates are excited at the prospect of having him ready to face Belgium, who are ranked second in the world.
“We want all our players to be ready and feeling at their best,” said Toronto FC midfielder Jonathan Osorio. “For one of our best players [Davies] to say that he’s ready to go, this honestly is a confidence booster for us. Of course we want him on the field, this is our star player.”
Lille forward Jonathan David added: “It’s a big boost, because we know how important a player he is for us and what he brings to the team. So, of course, if he’s 100 percent, we’re all happy.”
Canada’s chances of pulling of a shock in Group F just significantly improved.