So, I’ve been a football fan my whole life. Started with playing the game as a kid, developed into the premier league as I understood the game, and then I turned into a full-on football fanatic with a club in almost every league in Europe except France, that shit league doesn’t count.
So, imagine my surprise when I wake up this morning to the news that relatively unknown to the world FC Sheriff Tiraspol has knocked off the giants of European Football, Real Madrid. Not only did they beat Madrid, but they beat them at the Santiago Bernabeau, Madrid’s home ground and the first Champions League game held there in over a year. Unbelievable result for the small Moldovan side.
FC Sheriff took the lead after 25 minutes with a nice goal from Striker Djasur Yakhshibaev and held onto that lead until in the second half, Madrid was gifted a penalty (No surprises there) in which Benzema scored to make it 1-1 in the 65th minute. Before in the 90th minute Sebastien Thill popped up with a fantastic strike to restore Sheriff’s lead and hand them the upset of the tournament so far and possibly of the history of the Champions League. The dude literally has a tattoo of himself dreaming of scoring in the Champions League.
This result adds to the incredible win they had in match day 1 were they beat Champions League stalwarts Shaktar Donetsk of the Ukraine 2-0 in their tournament debut. They have already collected 6 points in a group they were expected to be lucky to score in, let alone be topping after 2 games. If history sets a precedence, then FC Sheriff are 1 win away from qualifying for the knockout stages of the Champions League in their debut appearance in the tournament.
Fotbal Club Sheriff commonly known as Sheriff Tiraspol or simply Sheriff, is a Moldovan football club based in Tiraspol, a city located in the unrecognised breakaway state of Transnistria. Founded in 1997 as Tiras Tiraspol and rebranded the following year as Sheriff, it quickly established itself within Moldovan football. They played there first season in the Moldovan first league in the 98-99 season and have since amassed 19 championship titles, ten Cups and seven Super Cups–all competition records. They have played in the group stages of the Europa League four times and this year became the first Moldovan side to qualify for the Group Stages of the UEFA Champions League, and I am all in on them in this tournament.
You beat Real Madrid away; you have earnt my respect. The looks on the faces of the Madrid players were priceless when Thill’s 90th minute strike hit the top corner. The pressure was clearly on for Real as Manager Carlo Ancelotti received a yellow card for outbursts during the match, and I love that they put those down on the stat sheets.
There logo is literally how you would imagine a Sheriffs badge in an American old western film and their kit is pretty nice too. I will definitely be keeping my eye on them for the remainder of this tournament and may even throw a few dollars on them in each of there remaining group stage games. Lightning doesn’t normally strike twice so I’m gunna take the punt that these wins are on merit and not through luck.