The incredible journey of Real Madrid to play the “game of the century” in Tiráspol

Real Madrid faces the Sheriff this Wednesday, a team that seeks to repeat the feat of the Bernabeú at home.

Tiráspol (Moldova) Nov 23 (EFE) .- The Real Madrid He is already in Tiráspol, the capital of Transnistria, a republic not recognized by the UN, where he will face on Wednesday the Sheriff, the revelation team of the Champions League that he already won at the Santiago Bernabéu.

It was quite an odyssey. The white team flew from Madrid to Chisinau, the capital of the former Soviet republic of Moldova. He then traveled by bus to Tiráspol, which is about 75 kilometers by road.

Journey into the unknown

The journey included a mandatory stop at the militarized border between Moldova and the territory of Transnistria, a strip of territory with half the area of ​​the community of Madrid. Between the Moldovan checkpoint and the Transnistrian, a contingent of Russian soldiers has been guaranteeing peace for thirty years.

The Madrid delegation stayed at the Hotel Russia, in whose lobby several scarves from the Sheriff and that it is located in the center of the city, where this Tuesday it rains from the first hour.

The expedition of the Spanish team was received by several dozen fans, who chanted the names of each and every one of the players as they got off the bus: Modric, Courtois, Vinicius, Kroos …

The first to respond to the affection was the technician, Carlo AncelottiAlthough the most chanted was not an active player, but the club’s ambassador, Roberto Carlos, who did not hesitate to greet the Transnistrian fans effusively, some of whom were interested in Raúl’s coaching career.

“I can not believe it. I’ve been waiting all my life for this day, ”Danilo, 30, a Madrid fan since he was a child, told EFE in the vicinity of the hotel.

From the hotel, the team will travel to the facilities of the hotel in a few hours. Sheriff for evening training and the pre-match press conference.

“A Spanish team had not come here since 2002. It was Denilson’s Real Betis,” commented an eager local reporter.

Party of the century in Moldova

The local fans have already described Wednesday’s match as “the game of the century” of Moldovan football, since, although the Sheriff It belongs to a separatist region, it depends on the Moldavian Football Federation.

“Everything is possible. We already did it at the Bernabeu. If we hold out the first half, they can get nervous, ”Ígor, owner of a local restaurant, told EFE.

Igor was a personal witness to the miracle of the Sheriff in the capital of Spain (1-2), although he admits that until this ‘Champions’ he had never before gone to the stadium to a match for the Tiráspol team.

“We are facing a great party. We welcome you to Real Madrid“Vitali Ignátiev, Transnistrian Foreign Minister, told EFE on Tuesday.

The diplomat expressed his confidence that thanks to this party, everyone now knows how to locate Transnistria, a territory on the left bank of the Dniester river, on the Google map.

“The Sheriff and his game are the best messengers in Transnistria. Better than politicians, the club will tell what Transnistria is. Transnistria is in favor of friendship and fair play ”, he stressed.

Ignatiev did not rule out a new surprise from the Sheriff, which has brought a “spark” to European football.

“The Sheriff can surprise anyone. It is a club that has a desire to win. The will to victory is the foundation of Transnistria and that is reflected in sport. At the time we defended the country with a gun in our hands and now we defend the honor of Transnistria on the football field ”, he proclaimed.

Nothing is impossible

The local team players also believe that they can repeat the feat and bring joy to their fans.

“Here we can play even better, since we are with our people. That is important. We must impose our game. We will play a great game, despite all that he means Real Madrid“Colombian Frank Castañeda told EFE on Tuesday.

He recognized that the Inter de Milan, against which the Transnistrian team fell at home and abroad, they “knew how to decipher”, but that the two weeks of rest for national team football was very good for them to regain strength.

“They are going to come and overwhelm us for what we did in Madrid. We are aware that our rivals are of the highest level. We know what Madrid means in the Champions League. After losing to us, they raised the level, in line with the club’s demands ”, he explained.

However, the creative midfielder ensures that he and his teammates have not only “hope” but also the “conviction” that they can reach the round of 16 of the top continental competition.

“We have to be calm, play our game and, why not, surprise us. We know that we must meet our objectives, which is to qualify for the next round. Nothing is impossible. We have already accomplished things that people said were not possible. Now, we must try to do it again ”, he insisted.

At the same time, he expressed “great satisfaction” for being one of the footballers of the Sheriff who are closely followed by European clubs, although he admitted that his dream is to be called up by his team for the next knockout rounds.

“To work hard and wait for that opportunity to come to me,” he said.

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