The Shocking Story of FC Sheriff Tiraspol

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NurPhoto / Contributor

Entering Tuesday’s match against Real Madrid, FC Sheriff Tiraspol were +2500 underdogs to win their match against the 13-time UEFA Champions League winners.

Madrid are currently atop Spain’s La Liga and Los Blancos boast one of the top goalscorers on the planet at the moment with Karim Benzema.

Nobody could’ve expected the small side from Moldova (we’ll discuss that in a moment) to pull off the unfathomable upset that they did.

FC Sheriff resides in the region known as Transnistria - a breakaway region that was formed after the fall of the Soviet Union in the 1990s.

The club is owned and operated by a small group, most notably Viktor Gushan -- a former KGB agent.

His company, also called Sheriff, operates a number of businesses throughout Transnistria and holds a monopoly over the region in terms of the goods and services used within the area.

Let’s get back to the football side of the story though.

Sheriff was only founded in 1997, but the meteoric rise of the club is actually incredibly impressive when considering the fact that the organization hasn’t even been around for a quarter-decade.

In that time, the club has since become the dominating force in Moldovan football, winning the country’s domestic league 19 times. In fact, Sheriff is the winningest club in Moldova football history, despite not being involved in the league from its inception five years prior.

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