Former Netherlands and Liverpool attacker Dirk Kuyt has been blasted by Sheriff’s boss after his comments before the Moldovan Minnows’ brilliant 2-1 win over giants Madrid
Ex-Liverpool winger Dirk Kuyt has been blasted by Sheriff boss Yuriy Vernydub after the Moldovan Minnows staged a stunning upset over European giants Real Madrid.
FC Sheriff Tiraspol became another Champions League giant-killer on Tuesday after they defeated Madrid at their hallowed Santiago Bernabeu stadium.
The Moldovan champions won 2-1 over Madrid with goals from Jasurbek Yakhshiboev and Sebastien Thill.
The stunning upset will stand out as one of the greatest night’s in the club’s 24-year history.
However, not everyone welcomed the underdog’s entrance into the Champions League or their David and Goliath story overcoming Madrid.
Former Liverpool and Netherlands attacker Dirk Kuyt questioned whether Sheriff deserved to be competing in the Champions League alongside the likes of Madrid.
The 41-year-old, speaking to Dutch channel RTL 7, said: “I know that the Champions League is a competition for champions, but teams like Sheriff Tiraspol have nothing to do with the Champions League.”
Kuyt’s curt comments come as Sheriff are now top of Group D in the Champions League.
Sheriff have two wins from two games in the competition Kuyt doesn’t believe they have a place in, having already beaten Shakhtar Donetsk.
Now the Moldovan side stand an excellent shot at progressing into the knockout stages despite Kuyt’s belief they should never have been allowed in.
Sheriff’s coach, Yuriy Vernydub, took the opportunity to fire back at Kuyt in his post-match conference.
He said: “It was a great player, Dirk Kuyt, who said there is no place in the Champions League for Sheriff.
“So I’m very happy to destroy his perfect world.
“At the moment, I am very happy after this game against such a big club like Real Madrid. This is so emotional.
“I’m very appreciative of my boys for this great job. We are a real team.
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“Some big name players said before there’s no place in the Champions League for a team like Sheriff, but it’s our place and we proved it.”
Yakhshiboev’s header had given Sheriff an early lead in a shocking turn of events that left Madrid on the back foot.
Sheriff’s goalkeeper, Giorgos Athanasiadis, was in fine form between the sticks, answering almost everything Madrid threw at him.
But the hosts’ class began to show as large stints of the game saw Sheriff defending their area and trying to spring counter-attacks.
El Galacticos eventually drew level via a penalty – courtesy of a VAR review – dispatched by Karim Benzema just past the hour mark.
From there it looked as though Madrid would go on to win it, as they pushed forward in numbers and could have had four or five.
But it was to be Sheriff’s day as Thill fired home a sumptuous volley in the final few seconds to spark stunning scenes and send the points back to Moldova.