Sheriff Tiraspol are a little known team within the UEFA Tournaments, they have played in the Europa League, and the Champions League since 2010. This small team was founded in 1997 in a country without international legal status called Transnistria. They are named after a security company that is based in Transnistria.

This is the fourth time they have played in the UEFA Champions League as a team without an official country. On the first occasion they failed to pass the qualifying round in 2010-11, but during the 2013-14 and 2017-18 season they played on the Group Stage finishing in third position.

This year things are different, they still don't have a country, but Sherriff Tiraspol are leaders of Group D with 6 points after winning 2-1 against Real Madrid on the road. It is unexpected that such a small and countryless team is the leader of a group made up of Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Shakhtar Donetsk.

FC Sheriff: Why do the team has no country?

Transnistria is not recognized by all the countries of the world, that nation is considered an ‘unrecognized breakaway state’, it is a type of state that declared itself independent of the international community but at the same time they request recognition from other countries. It is quite a complex situation.

The country is linked to the past by the Soviet Union, the country is full of communist symbols everywhere. The only international recognition that Transnistria enjoys is as part of Moldova, therefore FC Sheriff Tiraspol is considered a team that belongs to Moldovan football.