The tattoo-loving Sheriff Tiraspol hero who shot down Real Madrid

Sébastien Thill’s sense of the spectacular runs in the family. His stunning winner at the Bernabeu proclaimed Moldovan minnow Sheriff Tiraspol to the world, but his father can lay claim to a bolder goal.

When Serge Thill played for Luxembourg club CS Grevenmacher in 1997, he took advantage of a recent rule change to allow goals straight from kick-off. With the first shot of a game against Avenir Beggen, he sent the ball high in the air and under the crossbar of the opposing goalkeeper.

His son was still a toddler at the time, but was destined for a life in sports. His mother Nathalie was a multidisciplinary track and field athlete for Luxembourg and footballer. Thill Jr. and his two younger brothers, Olivier and Vinent, would eventually represent their country in football.

Tuesday night’s goal against Real Madrid was a beautifully batted half-volleyball that shot into the top corner of Thibaut Courtois. The look on David Alaba’s face summed up the disbelief at the sheriff’s defeat of the 13-time European champion. After defeating Shakhtar Donetsk, they are within reach of the knockout stage.

Thill’s brother Vincent went to French club Metz as a youngster, following in the footsteps of Miralem Pjanić, who also played for the youth teams of Metz and Luxembourg, before representing Bosnia and Herzegovina in international senior football. But the eldest of the Thill brothers played most of his career in his home country at Progrès Niederkorn. The tattoo-loving Sheriff Tiraspol hero who shot down Real Madrid

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