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Behind the scenes of Alex Ovechkin’s international football debut and his unlikely goal

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alex ovechkin signed a one-day contract with Dynamo Moscow and made his international soccer debut on Saturday against Amkal, a group of social media soccer stars. In 11 minutes for the Russian Premier League team, Ovechkin scored the winning goal, absolutely with body an opposing player, and he won 100% of his duels in the friendly.

Clips of Ovechkin’s highlights went viral around the world, landing on the sports media giant. sports net. Then there was so much interest in Ovechkin/Dynamo soccer merchandise that Dynamo’s online team store was down for hours due to too many requests. Physically in the stadium, the team store sold Ovechkin Dynamo jerseys that imitated their jersey.

Ovechkin, for his part, seemed ecstatic about the whole experience, taking to Instagram the next day to express his delight at living out a childhood dream.

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“Thank you so much @fcdynamo for making my dream of playing for my local club come true!” Ovechkin wrote in Russian and translated by Google Translate. “These are unforgettable emotions for me, my family and friends! I will remember this moment for the rest of my life.”


GOAAAAAAALLLLL

Ovechkin scored, but it wasn’t because the other team lay down and let him pass. That’s what made finding the back of the net an even more exciting personal experience for the legendary hockey player.

There were also other challenges.

Ovechkin admitted during a Match TV interview that while he had no butterflies before the game, he was concerned about the current state of his conditioning. Ovechkin and his family returned from a spa in Turkey to participate in the friendly.

“I was more worried about the fact that we are now on vacation,” Ovechkin said. “How will I feel physically? And already in the warm-up I realized that it would be difficult”.

When asked what he tried to accomplish on the field as team leader, Ovechkin replied that his personal goal was to “try not to die.”

Ovechkin persevered through his shortness of breath, scoring from his office to make it 1-0 early in the game. Taking a back pass, Ovechkin kicked the ball with his left foot into the far corner of the net, past the Amkal goalkeeper. The commentators, who did not expect this historic moment to happen, began to scream with excitement when they realized that Ovi had scored.

A grinning Ovechkin did his best Cristiano Ronaldo impression, leaping high into the air and raising both arms to the sky like Blur’s. song 2 played through the speakers.

“Well, the dream came true – to score a goal,” Ovechkin said.

“From the left office, okay!” Ovechkin added during an interview with Dynamo TV. “By the way, (Fyodor) Smolov said to me today: ‘We go into the penalty area, we open and I give you my left hand.’ The link worked.”

Immediately after scoring, Ovechkin came on for Danya Forbin in the 11th minute drenched in sweat. “It was very hot,” he said. “I had to douse myself with water. Heat, congestion.

The goal was the only goal scored in the first half. Dynamo would go on to win 5-0.

Ovi later noted that the goal was historic not only because it was his first as a footballer.

“Well, let’s count, I have 1-0 with Gretzky,” he observed.

Dynamo Moscow also posted a graphic of Ovechkin next to Ronaldo. The top line showed how many goals each player had in their respective sports (hockey/football). The final result showed that Ovechkin had one more goal in football than Ronaldo had in hockey.


The hit

In the National Hockey League, Ovechkin is known as a power forward. Ovi not only scores in most games, but also imposes the will of him on other players with big hits on the boards. He was no different on the soccer field.

Amkal’s Mike Krapivnikov tried to challenge Ovechkin as he dribbled the ball down the field. Krapivnikov looked the size of a child compared to Ovechkin and when the two players collided, Krapivnikov was glued to the grass.

“I predicted a power move, I knew I would be with him on the flank and I was preparing for this power move,” Krapivnikov explained to Sport 24. “Either he would catch me or I would catch him flying.”

And to everyone’s delight, Krapivnikov flew away. He was asked how the blow felt.

“Well, not like a train, but it’s strong,” he said. “I told her, ‘Sanya, are you a brick? … After that, she quickly scored.”

The two also watched the replay on a phone and laughed after the game.

“I got into the highlights again!” Ovechkin said.

Back home in DC, Ovechkin is a minority owner of the Washington Spirit, a team in the National Women’s Soccer League. She was asked if she would one day join the players on the field.

“I think if I use a power check in that match, I’ll be disqualified for life!” Ovechkin joked.


dad was proud

Ovechkin wore number three during the game in honor of his father, Mikhail, who played professional soccer throughout his adult years. Mikhail attended the game along with Ovechkin’s mother, Tatyana, a two-time gold medal-winning basketball player. Ovechkin’s wife, Nastya, and his two sons, Sergei and Ilya, accompanied him along with other relatives.

“My father played for Dynamo Moscow and got injured,” Ovechkin said of the tribute. “And today this game was more for him than for me.”

Ovechkin added that “if you really want (a dream) to (happen), then yes. Of course they do!”

Mikhail was noticeably moved by the tribute, but not necessarily surprised by his son’s overall performance in the game. He agreed when asked if it was a dream come true for him personally.

“We are all happy. And me, and my mother, and all the relatives. Yes, this is true happiness!” Mikhail said.

“Today it is a great happiness that Sasha played for the masters team, I think it will be the winning goal,” Mikhail said during the match. “He went down in history. A talented person is talented in everything. He is very good at playing hockey, soccer, tennis, table tennis, water polo. God bless you.”

Mikhail was then asked if he thought his son could have broken Pele’s record for goals in football if he decided to play the sport professionally. “I don’t even doubt it. That’s for sure,” Mikhail replied.

“My wish is that he breaks Gretzky’s record, if these teammates don’t interfere,” he added.

Mikhail said his son normally plays goalie when he plays soccer “so he doesn’t get injured” because of his NHL contract and that’s why he also came out so fast during Saturday’s game. He was also concerned that if Capitales fans “find out about this [playing for Dynamo] in America, they won’t pat you on the head.”


Mom was proud too

Tatyana Ovechkina had this to say about Ovechkin’s football debut on Match TV.

The moment is very good, beautiful. The most important thing is that the goal was not scored for fun, but for the game. Very good.

Nobody adapted to Sasha. Maybe someone thinks that she did it on purpose, not at all. Very good goal, I’m happy for him.

He is not only a forward, he is also a good midfielder. He sees the court well, both in hockey and soccer.

I have said many times that he was an athlete.

In any sport, of course, he would have achieved a good result. He knows how to play basketball and tennis, and he swims well.



game player

After the game, Ovechkin was named player of the game for scoring the GWG. They gave him Dynamo’s prestigious Panama hat (which is noticeably less dangerous than the Capitals’ Viking axe).

Ovechkin was asked if he would keep the hat.

“Of course,” Ovechkin told Match TV. “I will save everything! Look, I filled a whole bag with what I collected as souvenirs from this game.

He added to Dynamo TV that “I am happy to have played, I fulfilled my dream. Many thanks to the board, players, coaching staff for the trust. I hope the Dynamo become the champion this year.”

When asked if he would switch to football full-time, Ovechkin’s son Sergei answered for him.

“Never!” said Ovi Jr. “Only hockey!”

Screenshot: Dynamo Moscow/Instagram

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