Lionel Messi, who scored the first goal for PSG, will be the main title of the Champions League on Tuesday. But Messi scores every day. The real story is that the FC Sheriff, in their first Champions League campaign against a non-existent country, beat Real Madrid 2-1 in this Thunderbastard at the Bernabeu:
This is the reason why players who take off their shirts in celebration of goals are given yellow cards. If you were Sebastian Thiel and FC Sheriff and scored to beat Madrid, everyone would have the right to be completely naked and cover themselves in the molten deception.
The Sheriff is one of the strangest stories in the Champions League and football in general. They are Moldovan champions, they will not play in Moldova. Kind of. They are located in the Transnistria region, opposite the border with Ukraine, which was abandoned by the Moldovan government decades ago. They are not recognized as their own country, although Moldova recognizes it as a “Transnistria Autonomous Region unit of special legal status”.
It’s getting better. The Sheriff owns a company of the same name, which basically owns the whole country. Sixty percent of the region’s economy runs through the company’s sheriff. Imagine if Amazon was somehow big (just, really), owned by Dodgers and it was started by two KGB agents. Which was the sheriff. Their Wikipedia page They own a gas station, a supermarket, a TV channel, a publishing house, construction, a Mercedes-Benz dealership, an advertising agency, a liquor company and a mobile phone company. Oh, and probably the government, too. But we are almost accustomed to that here.
Whatever they are, they are certainly small in this competition And had to navigate three qualifying rounds to advance to the group stage. Now they have beaten Shakhtar Donetsk and Madrid, which means they are at the top of the group. If they can only beat Inter once, and have Magu again and again in the Champions League, they could easily find themselves in the knockout round.
Football … bloody hell.