“Biggest success in Moldova since Dragostea Din Tei,” people chanted on Twitter. With the Sheriff of Tiraspol, a Moldovan club qualified for the main tournament of the UEFA Champions League for the first time. In 5 points you will get acquainted with the “wasps” of Moldova.
1. Dominant in your country
The Sheriff of Tiraspol is completely unknown to the outside world, but in Moldova the club has been the standard of football for two decades. Founded in 1997, the young club was promoted to the First Division a year later and has dominated the football competition since 2000.
With the exception of two failures, in 2011 and 2014, she has won the Moldovan football championship every year since then, with ten consecutive titles between 2000 and 2010. She won the competition last year with a goal difference of 116-7 (!) and a 16-point lead over top striker Petroklub.
2. Sheriff Lender
The club’s success does not come out of nowhere. After all, the club is owned by a huge Moldovan sheriff, who owns gas stations and a supermarket chain. It also has a television channel, a production company, a construction company, a brewery, and several stores.
Since its inception, the Sheriff has pumped millions into the club, including building the small but modern Sheriff Stadium. With qualification for the Champions League, you now follow the unexpected events of the rich owners.
3. Pride of Transnistria
In her own country, the success of Sheriff Tiraspol is likely to be greeted with mixed feelings. Tiraspol is not only the second largest city in Moldova, it is also the capital of the de facto independent Transnistria, an independent country in the region.
In 1990, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the region unilaterally declared its independence from Moldova, at the beginning of a long tug of war. Transnistria is not recognized as an independent country by the international community.
Today, Transnistria still proudly bears its communist roots. It is the only former Soviet country that still bears a hammer and sickle in its flag. The conflict with Moldova makes Sharif a “wrong club” for many Moldovan residents.
4. Anonymous team with cult striker Mechelen
Anyone who looked at Sheriff’s lineup against Zagreb yesterday probably wouldn’t know a name in the magazine. Colombian footballer Frank Castaneda. The winger scored 28 goals in the league last season.
Anyone who follows the Belgian competition closely can recognize the name Demetrius Kolovos. The Greek striker played football for KV Mechelen from 2016 to 2018, but was never able to break it.
Moreover, Moldovans have to deal with financial international Adama Traore (not Wolverhampton) and Luxembourg international Sebastian Thiel. The Moldavian Brazilian Lovanor was also significant with 4 goals in the CL preliminary round.
Colophos in Mechelen colours.
5. CL’s beginner trend continues
With Sheriff’s qualification, Moldova is credited as a country in CL history books. The last new countries on the list were Kazakhstan in 2015 with FC Astana and Azerbaijan in 2017 with Karabag.
In addition, Sheriff also continues the long-running trend of new teams in the championship ball. From 2017 to 2020, he made debuts for Karabag, Leipzig, Hoffenheim, Red Star Belgrade (previously winning the European Cup 1), Young Boys Bern, Salzburg, Basaksehir, Krasnodar, Midtjelland and Rennes.
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