As Canada’s junior coach, former Bundesliga star Paul Stellari supported Bayern’s Alfonso Davies and iconic Lille goalkeeper Jonathan David. In an interview with Sport Bild, the former Bremen defender says why Davies is irreplaceable to Munich and why David would be a success in Germany as well. Stelleri also spoke to Herzensklub Werder about his expectations.
How much is FC Bayern missing Canadian superstar Alfonso Davies, who is in recovery training after myocarditis in the hot phase of the season?
Paul Stalateri (44): Davies’ failure is very bad for Bayern right now. His health is in the foreground and the Munich team will not take any risks and will be using him again soon. To me and to all football fans in Canada, the news of his cardiac problems came as a huge shock. Above all, the uncertainty of where it came from, what effect it would have on it, how long it would be out, left us uncertain. I am really looking forward to seeing when he can play again. He is irreplaceable for Bayern and the national team of Canada.
Photo: Getty Images
You coached Davis as a youth international. How do you see his development in Munich?
great! FC Bayern is a godsend for Davies – and vice versa. He developed well in Munich, for example improving his flanking game. It’s amazing the power that Alphonso has given the team in recent years through his play on the left. With his mobility, ability to run, his experience with the ball and his positive, cheerful attitude, he made Bayern the better. And has matured into one of the best full-backs in the world.
One of the most sought-after forwards is Davies’ national teammate Jonathan David from OSC Lille. The 22-year-old is said to be on the list of several top European clubs, including BVB. Would Germany be a good place for that?
Jonathan fits in really well in Germany.
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We Canadians have the same mindset, the same dynamic as American football players – and some of them have made their recent Bundesliga debuts, like Giovanni Reyna at Dortmund. Jonathan is an absolute striker: fast, two-legged, dangerous with a header, very clever at handling and securing space, shoots from all positions with a good technique, and works great backwards as well. He is an intelligent boy, knows what is best for him. So far he has been right with his changes. If he goes to a top club like Germany’s BVB, he will be successful there.
David’s shooting is one of the reasons why Canada is almost certain to have a World Cup ticket in its pocket. Can the national team stun the big soccer nations in their first final in 36 years?
In the World Cup, the Canadians will be a very unpleasant opponent for all teams and can cause trouble. Maybe we’re a little better off the USA and Mexico this time around, which was different in the last 30 years or so. The development of the team comes as no surprise to me.
in what way?
I saw the incredible potential of Alfonso Davies and Jonathan David in U15 and knew they could have a great career and become Canada’s top stars. We have a good mix of stalwarts like our 39-year-old midfield manager Ateeba Hutchinson and young, promising power footballers.
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The current status of your Heart Club Vedder, with whom you won the 2004 Championship and Cup, is also very promising. Bremen are currently third in the second division, directly tied on points with promotion places Darmstadt and St Pauli. How excited are you from abroad?
I watch more and more of his games. Things looked bad at the start of the season, I feared for Vader. I am most happy about the bounce.
What do you like in particular?
You can feel how youth coach Ole Werner really gave momentum to the team and the club as a whole. He has managed to get the players in excellent form. Vedder is well on his way to becoming what the club stood for a few years ago: flashy, aggressive and successful football. Now it is important that the Bremen team pack straight to the Weiderofsteig. Otherwise it will be very difficult to get up again.
How confident are you that Werder will play in the Bundesliga again next season?
I firmly believe in it. But it will be a very tight box. The cards are shuffled every weekend for the promotion. I think Bremen will have to tremble till the end, it will be a neck and neck race till the end of the season.
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