Best Canadian soccer stars playing in Europe

Canadian soccer

Canada may be better known for hockey, lacrosse, and basketball but the country is making great strides on the world stage with its Canadian soccer stars playing in Europe.

The national team is in pole position to qualify for the 2022 Qatar World Cup and there are several players who have become stars in Europe.

Some players got a big move this Winter, like Stephen Eustaquio that transferred to FC Porto and will likely be playing in the Champions League next season. If you are not aware of what is the Champions League, follow TwinSpires guide on how to bet on soccer online and you will get on with it.

While Eustaquio is still a question mark, to see if he delivers in such a historical giant, there are some players who are already confirmed stars in Europe.

Here is a look at the best Canadian soccer stars currently plying their trade in the old continent.

Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich)

Davies attracted worldwide attention when he broke through at Vancouver Whitecaps at the age of 15 and quickly established himself as one of the most exciting young talents in North America. Europe’s big clubs quickly took notice and Davies, then 17, joined Bayern Munich for an MLS record transfer fee.

Bayern’s investment in a teenage Davies has more than paid off as the Canada international has established himself as one of the finest left-sided players in the world and a key player for the German giants.

After three seasons at Bayern, Davies has won the Bundesliga title every year, two German Cups, and was instrumental in the team’s 2019/20 Champions League triumph. Since that European Cup victory, Davies has added the Fifa Club World Cup and Uefa Super Cup to his trophy cabinet.

Still only 21, there is much more to come from Davies, both for club and country.

Jonathan David (Lille)

Born in New York City but raised in Ottawa, David shunned the usual route of progressing through the MLS system by starting his professional career in Europe.

David joined Belgian club Gent in January 2018 and after making his debut in August of that year, soon became one of the best forwards in the league. Interest from bigger clubs eventually led to a move to France and David became the most expensive Canadian player in history when he joined Lille for a reported €30 million in August 2020.

After a slow start in France, David soon adapted and played a key role in Lille winning a remarkable Ligue 1 title, scoring 13 league goals and helping end the dominance of ultra-wealthy Paris Saint-Germain.

Lille may be struggling to repeat last season’s heroics this campaign, but David has become even more prolific and is set to easily eclipse last year’s goals tally. Another young Canadian with his best years ahead of him, the 22-year-old is poised to become a major player in Europe and is destined for another move to a bigger club (Inter Milan, Chelsea, and Arsenal are all reported to be interested).

Cyle Larin (Besiktas)

A product of the NCAA system, Larin was a college star for UConn Huskies for one season before taking his first professional steps in 2014 when he rejoined Ontario-based Sigma FC. Three seasons with Orlando FC in the MLS followed, where Larin scored plenty of goals but also suffered from disciplinary issues.

Having made clear his desire to move to Europe, Larin joined Besiktas in January 2018 and impressed in his first half-season, scoring four goals in as many league games. Larin struggled to build on that start in his first full season in Turkey and was sent out on loan to Belgian club Zulte Waregem for the 2019/20 season.

However, after returning to Besiktas, Larin became a key player during the club’s march to the Super Lig title and Turkish Cup double in 2020/21, finishing the league season as the second-joint top goalscorer with 19.

Larin’s club form has transferred to the international stage and last month he became Canada’s all-time leading goalscorer when he scored his 23rd in the 2-0 World Cup qualifying win over the United States.

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