Sheriff Tiraspol, club ‘founded by ex-KGB agent’ upsets Real Madrid

Foto: Facebook FC Sheriff

Little-known Moldovan club delivered a historic defeat to European giants Real Madrid at home.

It was one of the biggest shocks in Champions League history when they were beaten by on Tuesday outsiders 2-1 at the Bernabeu stadium.

Late goal

Midfielder Sebastien Thrille scored a late goal to snatch victory for the Moldovan club which is playing in the in the group stage for the first time.

Goals are what counts in football. Despite their win, Real Madrid had 67% possession and 30 shots on goal to the visitors’ 11.

Sheriff got the upper hand in the 25th minute when they scored against the 13-times European champions.

A header from Uzbek midfielder Jasurbek Yakhshiboev clinched the first goal. He narrowly missed a chance to score another later in the first half.


Real Madrid dominated the play throughout, but needed a penalty to draw level.

Karim Benzema kicked the ball in the top corner in the 65th minute, after after Vinicius Jr was knocked over and awarded a penalty.

Sheriff swiftly reached the other end and Luxembourg midfielder Thill kicked a shot into the top corner.

Breakaway state

Sheriff are the top club from the unrecognized breakaway Moldovan state of Trans-Dniester. They are the first Moldovan team to play in the group phase of Europe’s elite club competition.

The club was founded in 1997 and have won the Moldovan championship 19 times.

They are named after the Sheriff corporation which was formed in 1993 after the Soviet Union’s break-up.

Local oligarch Viktor Gushan who owns the club „is a former military and KGB man” who owns sprawling properties in the region, Radio Free Europe reported.

The Sheriff Stadium complex was completed in 2002 and cost around 150 million euros.


Mr Gushan reportedly also owns a number of businesses in the region, ranging from supermarkets, gas stations, caviar, textiles to communication and cryptocurrency and is known for his pro-Russian stance.

Many Trans-Dniestrans also have Russian citizenship. The government is historically pro-Moscow.


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