MOSCOW (AP) – Alex Ovechkin has brought the Stanley Cup to the World Cup.
The Washington Capitals captain took the NHL trophy to a fan zone in Moscow where World Cup games are screened. With the Russian National Guard providing security, Ovechkin lifted the cup above his head in front of a crowd of fans, who were allowed to take photos with the trophy.
''The cup is with us. The cup is in Moscow, Russia,'' Ovechkin said. ''I am very happy for the people that can see it and touch it. I am very, very happy.''
Ovechkin said he wishes the Russian soccer team well in its quarterfinal match against Croatia in Sochi.
''The national team did a great a job for the fans. Everyone is so happy. Miracles can happen. We are not far away from the final,'' he said. ''We need to fight, and our players understand it. They will do everything that they can.''
Ovechkin won his first Stanley Cup championship a month ago in his 13th season in Washington.
Other Russian NHL players are also interested in soccer. Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins posted a picture on Instagram showing himself on a luxury jet with Ilya Kovalchuk of the Los Angeles Kings and Alexander Radulov of the Dallas Stars.
''Flying to Sochi'' was the caption.