Alphonso Davies is Disappointed About World Cup Decision, but Life Goes On
Thousands of fans descend on northeast Edmonton burger joint to meet the city's favourite soccer son
By Steven Sandor | June 25, 2022
There were thousands of people in line. A parking lot was turned into a makeshift maze of stanchions and barriers, as if someone had decided to erect a pop-up Radiator Springs Racers in north Edmonton.
Except this was bigger than a Disneyland ride. Alphonso Davies was signing autographs at Burger Daddy, located close to where Manning Drive meets Anthony Henday Drive, far removed from downtown or Whyte Avenue.
A group of journalists assembled for a set media time, and there were already thousands of people in line. And, while we all knew this event was to raise money for the Stollery, we all had one nagging question. We talked about it before the media event began. We’d save it for last. The question.
How did Davies, the biggest sports superstar this city has ever produced, feel about Edmonton being left out in the cold when it comes to the 2026 World Cup? After all, when the United bid’s key players appeared in front of the FIFA delegates, it was Davies who gave a passionate speech about his dream of one day playing a World Cup match… in Edmonton.
While he said “it’s a bummer” about FIFA’s decision not to include Edmonton in its World Cup plans, he said it’s important to focus on the tasks ahead — which is the 2022 World Cup and, eventually, the 2026 mundial. He said all the right things, about needing to focus on the task at hand, that the national team has a lot of work to do. ahead of both the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and the 2026 tournament that’s in a lot of North American places but Edmonton.
“It’ a little bit disappointing, but, at the end of the day, I’m just grateful we can be in the running… It’s a bummer, but we know we have a job to do.
“Overall, we’re excited that we can make it to a World Cup. The team is grateful that we can make it. The country, everyone, is excited.
“For me, it’s an incredible feeling, to be able to play in the World Cup with your country. I’m excited for it.”
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At Saturday’s event, Burger Daddy created a special “Phonzie Burger,” with proceeds going to the Stollery. The fundraiser was born out of a friendly bet between Davies and Canadian national soccer teammate Sam Adekugbe, who hails from Calgary. They pledged to make donations to charity based on who won the Battle of Alberta in the 2022 NHL playoffs — Davies’s Oilers or Adekugbe’s Flames. Adekugbe paid up, but Davies decided to take things another step.
He said that, as a kid, his school visited the Stollery, and it meant a lot to him.
“I just want to give back to the community. The Stollery helps a lot of families, a lot of kids, and I just want to give back to them.”
And, will Adekugbe get a keepsake from Davies’s great day?
“I haven’t sent Sam a picture of the lineup, but I am definitely going to.”