Alex Ovechkin signed a one-day contract with Dynamo Moscow and made his international debut on Saturday against Amkal, a group of footballing social media stars. In 11 minutes for the Russian Premier League side, Ovechkin scored the winning goal, absolutely Corsica an opposing player, and won 100% of his duels in friendly matches.
Clips of Ovechkin’s highlights have gone viral across the world – landing on the sports media giant Sportsnet. There was so much interest in Ovechkin/Dynamo football products afterward that Dynamo’s team online store was shut down for hours due to too many requests. Physically at the stadium, the team store sold Ovechkin Dynamo shirts that mimicked his jersey.
Ovechkin, for his part, seemed thrilled with the whole experience, taking to Instagram the next day to express his joy at living out a childhood dream.
“Thank you so much @fcdynamo for making my dream of playing for my home club come true!” Ovechkin wrote in Russian and translated by Google Translate. “These are unforgettable emotions for me, my family and my friends! I will remember this moment for the rest of my life.
Ovechkin scored, but it wasn’t because the other team lay down and let it go. That’s what made finding the back of the net all the more exciting a personal experience for the legendary hockey player.
There were also other challenges.
Ovechkin admitted in a Match TV interview that although he had no butterflies before the match, he was concerned about the current state of his conditioning. Ovechkin and his family returned from a resort in Turkey to take part in the friendly match.
“I was more worried that we are now on vacation,” Ovechkin said. “How am I going to feel physically? And already in the warm-up, I realized that it would be hard.
When asked what he tried to accomplish on the field as team leader, Ovechkin said his personal goal was “to try not to die.”
Ovechkin persevered despite his lack of wind, scoring from his desk 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, beating Amkal’s diving keeper. The commentators, not expecting this historic moment to happen, started screaming with excitement when they realized Ovi had scored.
— Hockey News Hub (@HockeyNewsHub) June 25, 2022
A smiling Ovechkin did his best Cristiano Ronaldo impersonation, jumping high in the air and raising both arms skyward as Blur’s Song 2 played on the speakers.
“Well, the dream came true – to score a goal,” Ovechkin said.
“From the left desk, okay!” Ovechkin added during an interview with Dynamo TV. “By the way, (Fyodor) Smolov said to me today: ‘We go to the penalty area, let’s open – and I give you the left hand.’ The link worked.
Immediately after scoring, Ovechkin replaced Danya Forbin in the sweat-soaked 11th minute. “It was very hot,” he said. “I had to splash water on myself. Heat, suffocation.
The count was the only goal scored in the first half. Dynamo would go on to win 5-0.
Ovi later pointed out that the goal was historic not only because it was his first as a football player.
“Well let’s face it, I have 1-0 with Gretzky,” he observed.
Dynamo Moscow also released a side-by-side graphic of Ovechkin with Ronaldo. The top line showed the number of goals scored by each player in their respective sport (hockey/soccer). In the end, Ovechkin had one more goal in soccer than Ronaldo in hockey.
Which of them is GOAT? 🐐
In our opinion, everything is obvious 😌 pic.twitter.com/0dRa5acL4b
— ФК “Динамо” Москва (@fcdynamo) June 27, 2022
In the National Hockey League, Ovechkin is known as a power forward. Not only does Ovi score in most games, but he also imposes his will on other players with big, crisp shots down the boards. It was no different on the football field.
Amkal’s Mike Krapivnikov attempted to challenge Ovechkin as he dribbled the ball down the pitch. Krapivnikov looked like a child compared to Ovechkin and as the two players collided, Krapivnikov was tough on the grass.
“I predicted a power move, I knew I would be with him on the flank, and I was preparing for that power move,” Krapivnikov told Sport 24. flying away.”
And to our delight, Krapivnikov flew away. He was asked how the shot felt.
“Well, not like a train, but it’s just loud,” he said. “I said to him, ‘Sanya, are you a brick?… After that, he quickly scored.”
The two also watched the replay on a phone and laughed about it after the game.
“I came back in the highlights!” said Ovechkin.
Back home in DC, Ovechkin is a minority owner of the Washington Spirit, a National Women’s Soccer League team. He was asked if he would ever join the players on the pitch.
“I think if I use a PTO in this match, I will be disqualified for life!” Ovechkin joked.
Dad was proud
Ovechkin wore number three during the match in honor of his father, Mikhail, who played professional football as an adult. Mikhail attended the game with Ovechkin’s mother, Tatyana, a two-time gold medalist basketball player. Ovechkin’s wife, Nastya, and his two children, Sergei and Ilya, were accompanied along with other relatives.
“My father played for Dynamo Moscow and was injured,” Ovechkin said of the tribute. “And today this match was more for him than for me.”
Ovechkin added that “If you really want (a dream) (to come true), then yes. Of course they do!
Mikhail was noticeably touched 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 himself personally.
“We are all happy. And me, and my mother, and all the parents. Yes, this is real happiness! said Mikhail.
“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 game. “He made history. A talented person is talented in everything. He is very good at playing hockey, football, tennis, table tennis, water polo. God bless you.”
Mikhail was then asked if he thought his son could have broken Pele’s goalscoring record in football if he had decided to take up the sport professionally. “I don’t even doubt. That’s for sure, ”replied Mikhail.
“My desire is for him to break Gretzky’s record, if those comrades don’t intervene,” he added.
Mikhail said his son usually plays goalie when he’s playing soccer “so he doesn’t get hurt” because of his NHL contract and that’s also why he came out so quickly in the soccer game. Saturday. He was also concerned that if Capitals fans “find out about this [playing for Dynamo] in America, they won’t pat him on the head.
Mom was proud too
Tatyana Ovechkina said this 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 he did it on purpose – not at all. Very good goal, I’m happy for him.
Not only is he a forward, but he’s also a good playmaker. He sees the field well, both in hockey and football.
I have said several times that he was athletic.
In any sport, of course, he would have achieved a good result. He can play basketball, tennis and swims well.
After the match, Ovechkin was named Player of the Match for scoring GWG. He received Dynamo’s prestigious Panama Hat (which is significantly 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 an entire bag with what I collected as a memento from that game.
He added to Dynamo TV that “I am happy to have played, to have achieved my dream. A big thank you to the management, the players, the technical staff for the confidence. I hope Dynamo will become the champion this year.
When asked if he would switch to full-time soccer, Ovechkin’s son Sergei answered for him.
“Never!” said Ovi Jr. “Only hockey!”
Screenshot: Dynamo Moscow/Instagram