Canadian football stars transport equipment around the world. How times have changed
It wasn’t that long ago that just having a Canadian soccer player to cheer on in Germany, France, Scotland or Turkey was special.
This month, a Canadian international male player won a league title in each of those countries.
Let this soak in for a minute. Not only do Canadian internationals play significant minutes at big clubs in some of the best leagues in the world, but they win championships.
Alphonso Davies became a trophy collector at Bayern Munich. The Edmonton product celebrated its third straight Bundesliga title this weekend with the German giants cementing their ninth straight league title.
Meanwhile, Phonzie’s striking partner in the Canadian national team, Jonathan David, became the first Canadian to win the French League 1. The small Ottawa forward scored the decisive goal for the title, opening the scoring in Lille’s 2-0 victory against Angers. on Sunday. It’s a remarkable end to a season that started with a 10-game scoreless drought and left the Canadian with a semi-severe knee injury, and yet David still finished with 13 league goals – the second-best. total of his championship team.
Few clubs in the world can spend as much as PSG have on hand, so dethroning the French giants is a feat celebrated by supporters of the underdogs around the world. And every Canadian success in soccer is an outsider’s story. But maybe that changes too.
Atiba Hutchinson captained Besiktas to a third Turkish Super Lig title in eight seasons at the Istanbul-based club. Few players stay in the game until their late 30s, but at 38, the Brampton native has been a key contributor and continues to show Canadian national team head coach John Herdman that he still has a lot of stuff left in the tank.
Fellow Canadian Cyle Larin scored 19 team-leading goals for the Turkish champions and rumored he would do a big off-season blow elsewhere. Besiktas clearly enjoys what Canadian players bring to the table, as Toronto FC winger Richie Laryea has been linked with a possible move to the club.
Scott Arfield celebrated a Scottish Premiership title as Rangers toppled Glasgow rival Celtic, ending the Hoops’ nine-year reign at the top. Arfield wasn’t the only Canadian in Scotland to get their hands on silverware this weekend. Midfielder David Wotherspoon helped St. Johnstone add the Scottish Cup to an incredible campaign which also included the League Cup.
Canadian goalkeeper Milan Borjan helped Serbian Red Star giant Belgrade claim a fourth consecutive league crown.
It’s not a feat that comes with a trophy, but Canadian midfielder Stephen Eustaquio helped small Portuguese side Pacos de Ferreira qualify for the new UEFA Europa Conference League, a notch below the Europa League. Yes, shockingly, someone from UEFA’s finance department has created a division below the second-rate cup competition in Europe. Eustaquio is linked with a major transfer to Portuguese giants FC Porto this summer.
Add to that the successes of Canadian stars Jessie Fleming and Kadeisha Buchanan – Fleming’s Chelsea won the Women’s Super League and lost in the Women’s Champions League final this month, while Buchanan’s Lyon are in a race. with two horses in France to win its 15th consecutive. Title Division 1 Women.
Canadian soccer fans have gone through so much agony and heartache over the years. So celebrate these moments. Canadian players are reaching new heights in club soccer for both men and women. And with the crop of talent currently overseas and in the national team pipeline, the sky is the limit.
Several national trophies will be the highlight of this season. Then qualify for next year’s Men’s World Cup in Qatar? I wouldn’t bet against it.
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