December 02, 2021, 04:07:29 AM

Author Topic: Keston Julien Thread  (Read 7176 times)

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Offline Flex

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Re: Keston Julien Thread
« Reply #30 on: May 15, 2021, 05:08:45 PM »
T&T Julien delighted to capture first major title.
By Nigel Simon (T&T Guardian).


T&T defender Keston Julien says he is very happy to have captured his first major piece of silverware as a professional football.

On Wednesday, the 22-year-old Julien and his FC Sheriff Tiraspol club won their 19th Moldovan National Division Championship with a 6-0 thrashing of third-place FC Milsami Orhei at the Satesc Stadium, Suruceni.

The Gasparillo-born Julien was the 76th introduction by FC Sheriff for Brazilian defender Cristiano, his 15th league appearance of the season, with his team already 5-0 ahead thanks to a double from Colombia Frank Castaneda (18th, 66th) and one each from Greece’s Dimitris Kolovos (sixth), Slovenian Lovro Bizjak (20th), and Mali’s Adama Traore, in the 41st. Bizjak added a second to his tally and the team’s sixth in the 80th minute.

With the win on Wednesday, Sheriff improved to an unassailable 89 points from 32 matches and four left to play, but 13 points clear of second-placed Petrocub while Milsami has 64 points in the third spot.

Julien has one goal on the season for FC Sheriff following his free transfer to the club from Slovakia where he was a member of their first team for four seasons, after leaving T&T Pro League outfit, San Juan Jabloteh at the end of the 2016/2017 season.

Before winning the Moldovan League title, Julien’s closest chance of major silverware came as a member of Jabloteh’s 2016/2017 team which ended as runner-up in the Concacaf Caribbean Club Championship losing 1-0 to Cibao of the Dominican Republic in the final.

And speaking to Extra Time TV earlier this week an elated Julien speaking said, " It’s my first trophy as a player and I am happy about that. It’s not a top league, but it’s a top club and we always aim to win the league and play champions league qualifiers and even the Europa League qualifiers. Our main goal is to qualify for the Champions League this season and we hope we can do so."

A Presentation College graduate, Julien said to play in the Champions League will be an amazing feeling for him, if it does happen.

He added, "I think not many Trinidadians have played recently with Khaleem Hyland playing with Genk of Belgium, so to play in a Champions League group stage is going to be a dream come through for me and my family and friends, and for T&T to have a player playing in the group stage of the Champions League. So I’m just praying and hoping that we can get a favourable draw to qualify for the Champions League."

Having spent four seasons in Slovakia with Trencin before joining FC Sheriff, Julien was full of praise for his new teammates and club in general.

“It’s the most mature team that I have ever played with as the clubs that I went to before had a lot of young players and at this club, I may be the second-youngest player, at 24, and everything is taking seriously as everyone main objective is winning.

"So the transition to here wasn’t difficult, but you know you still have to get adapted to it,” he stated.

Turning towards the national men’s team and the remaining Group C qualifiers against the Bahamas and St Kitts/Nevis next month, Julien said he believes T&T will top the group and move on.

St Kitts and Nevis currently leads the five-team round-robin pool with six points, two ahead of T&T who must first beat the Bahamas on June 5, and then St Kitts and Nevis three days later to win the group and earn the lone spot to the next phase of the 2022 Concacaf Qatar World Cup qualifiers.

“With the group of players we have at the moment I think we are more than capable to win the group, and right now while the remaining matches may sound like easy teams, no football game is easy and we have to go out and get the six points.

“We also have Gold Cup qualifiers coming up against Montserrat so it's not going to be some easy games," ended Julien.

Yesterday (On Saturday (May 15), Sheriff continued to pile up the points after they crushed mid-table Dinamo Auto 7-0 with Julien an un-used substitute.

They will complete their league schedule versus Floresti on Wednesday (May 19), Petrocub (May 22), and Dacia-Bulucani on May 26.

FC Sheriff will then go in search of a League and Cup double when they tackle Sfintul Gheorghe on May 29 in the Cup final at the Zimbru Stadium, Chisinau, Moldova. This after Sheriff whipped Petrocub 3-1 in their semifinals on May 4 and Sfintul Gheorge edged Dinamo-Auto 2-1.

Watch Keston Julien chats about his team FC Sheriff securing its 19th title and UCL ambitions.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline Trini _2026

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Re: Keston Julien Thread
« Reply #31 on: May 16, 2021, 05:23:47 AM »
 FC Sheriff Tiraspol last made the champions league in 2010-2011
« Last Edit: May 16, 2021, 05:30:36 AM by Trini _2022 »
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Offline Tallman

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Re: Keston Julien Thread
« Reply #32 on: June 03, 2021, 08:56:22 AM »
WATCH: Keston Julien - "I'm here to add something to the team"

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/9KKeWSJhr8Y" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/9KKeWSJhr8Y</a>
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Offline asylumseeker

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Re: Keston Julien Thread
« Reply #33 on: July 26, 2021, 06:09:56 PM »
Sheriff play Alashkert (one of Peltier's former clubs) on Wednesday morning T&T time (6.00 am) Look out for the link.

It's the 2nd leg of the Second Qualifying Round for the Champions League.

Sheriff secured a 1-0 victory in the 1st leg.

Keston played 90 minutes in the 1st leg in an XI that featured no Moldova-born players. In particular, the Back 4 was a South American affair + Keston. Full match and highlights provided below for your convenience (Sheriff in yellow).

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/f8joEzAaq2I" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/f8joEzAaq2I</a>

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/qX26RKLszu4" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/qX26RKLszu4</a>
« Last Edit: July 26, 2021, 06:30:11 PM by asylumseeker »
Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, the outgoing president of Croatia, said corruption was so embedded in her country that at school children who cheated in tests were celebrated as “heroes”. A recent Eurobarometer survey found that a majority of Croatians felt affected by corruption.

Sound familiar, T&T?

Offline asylumseeker

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Re: Keston Julien Thread
« Reply #34 on: July 31, 2021, 07:13:07 AM »
WATCH: Highlights, 2nd leg of the Second Qualifying Round for the Champions League. FC Sheriff Tiraspol 3 - Alashkert 1. Sheriff progress to face the Dejan Stanković-coached Red Star Belgrade in the Third Qualifying Round on Tuesday, August 3 and Tuesday, August 10.


<a href="https://youtube.com/v/QCPchlEDJuc" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://youtube.com/v/QCPchlEDJuc</a>
Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, the outgoing president of Croatia, said corruption was so embedded in her country that at school children who cheated in tests were celebrated as “heroes”. A recent Eurobarometer survey found that a majority of Croatians felt affected by corruption.

Sound familiar, T&T?

Offline asylumseeker

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Re: Keston Julien Thread
« Reply #35 on: August 03, 2021, 02:14:28 PM »
WATCH: Highlights, 2nd leg of the Second Qualifying Round for the Champions League. FC Sheriff Tiraspol 3 - Alashkert 1. Sheriff progress to face the Dejan Stanković-coached Red Star Belgrade in the Third Qualifying Round on Tuesday, August 3 and Tuesday, August 10.


...

Second half is about to start.

Currently 1-1. View first half here from -01:08:00.

SECOND HALF live here.

Update: 1-1 FT. Keston carded at about 70'. Substituted shortly after.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2021, 03:06:57 PM by asylumseeker »
Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, the outgoing president of Croatia, said corruption was so embedded in her country that at school children who cheated in tests were celebrated as “heroes”. A recent Eurobarometer survey found that a majority of Croatians felt affected by corruption.

Sound familiar, T&T?

Offline asylumseeker

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Re: Keston Julien Thread
« Reply #36 on: August 17, 2021, 07:47:17 AM »
Sheriff Tiraspol vs Dinamo Zagreb. Kick-off at 3:00pm TT time today. First leg of the Champions League playoff. More to follow.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2021, 03:00:51 PM by asylumseeker »
Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, the outgoing president of Croatia, said corruption was so embedded in her country that at school children who cheated in tests were celebrated as “heroes”. A recent Eurobarometer survey found that a majority of Croatians felt affected by corruption.

Sound familiar, T&T?

Offline asylumseeker

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Re: Keston Julien Thread
« Reply #37 on: August 17, 2021, 01:20:08 PM »
Sheriff Tiraspol vs Dinamo Zagreb. Kick-off at 3:00pm TT time today. First leg of the Champions League playoff. More to follow.

https://www.vivoplay.sigue.la/p/spo-7.html
« Last Edit: August 17, 2021, 03:01:05 PM by asylumseeker »
Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, the outgoing president of Croatia, said corruption was so embedded in her country that at school children who cheated in tests were celebrated as “heroes”. A recent Eurobarometer survey found that a majority of Croatians felt affected by corruption.

Sound familiar, T&T?

Offline asylumseeker

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Re: Keston Julien Thread
« Reply #38 on: August 17, 2021, 02:59:42 PM »
Sheriff get the better of Dinamo Zagreb in a captivating 3-0 victory that featured one of the best goals that will be scored in Europe this year.
Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, the outgoing president of Croatia, said corruption was so embedded in her country that at school children who cheated in tests were celebrated as “heroes”. A recent Eurobarometer survey found that a majority of Croatians felt affected by corruption.

Sound familiar, T&T?

Offline Tallman

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Re: Keston Julien Thread
« Reply #39 on: August 17, 2021, 06:14:37 PM »
After defeating Dinamo Zagreb 3-0 in the first leg, Keston Julien and FC Sheriff Tiraspol are now 90 minutes away from becoming the first Moldovan team to qualify for the UEFA Champions League group stage. Unfortunately for Keston, he was substituted in the 52nd minute due to a hamstring injury. Hopefully it's not too serious and he will feature in the second leg on August 25th.

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Offline asylumseeker

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Re: Keston Julien Thread
« Reply #40 on: August 17, 2021, 06:53:09 PM »
Sheriff as a club likely have played more Champions League qualification matches than any other team historically. The number hovers at about 50 qualification matches.
Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, the outgoing president of Croatia, said corruption was so embedded in her country that at school children who cheated in tests were celebrated as “heroes”. A recent Eurobarometer survey found that a majority of Croatians felt affected by corruption.

Sound familiar, T&T?

Offline Tallman

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Re: Keston Julien Thread
« Reply #41 on: August 25, 2021, 03:08:06 PM »
After defeating Dinamo Zagreb 3-0 on aggregate Keston Julien's club, FC Sheriff Tiraspol, has become the first Moldovan team to qualify for the UEFA Champions League group stage. Keston  will be the first player from Trinidad and Tobago to feature in the UCL since 2011/12.

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Offline Tallman

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Re: Keston Julien Thread
« Reply #42 on: August 26, 2021, 12:18:54 PM »
The UEFA Champions League draw has placed Keston Julien's club, FC Sheriff Tiraspol (Moldova), in Group D with Real Madrid (Spain), Inter Milan (Italy), and Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukraine).

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Offline Peong

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Re: Keston Julien Thread
« Reply #43 on: August 26, 2021, 12:56:43 PM »
Yes, I was hoping they get drawn against giants. It will be a great experience for his team, plus good tv coverage is guaranteed.

Offline Tallman

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Re: Keston Julien Thread
« Reply #44 on: August 26, 2021, 01:37:06 PM »
WATCH: Keston Julien talks about qualifying for the UEFA Champions League with his club FC Sheriff Tiraspol

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Offline Tallman

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Dream come true for Keston Julien
« Reply #45 on: August 27, 2021, 11:37:53 AM »
Dream come true for Keston Julien
T&T Express


To play in the UEFA Champions League will be a dream come true when it eventually happens for Keston Julien.

Julien’s club, FC Sheriff Tiraspoll was placed in Group D alongside giants Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Shakhtar Donestk during yesterday’s much-anticipated draw for the 2021-22 UEFA Champions League. Sheriff is the first club from Moldova to have qualified for the Champions League.

A left-back with three senior national team caps, Julien joins a select list of Trinidad and Tobago footballers whose clubs would have played in the Champions League, the most recent being T&T captain Khaleem Hyland with Genk in 2011-2012. Also included in the list is Manchester United Champions League-winning striker Dwight Yorke, Glasgow Rangers defender Marvin Andrews and Russell Latapy (Porto).

“We playing Champions League group stage now and it’s a wonderful feeling, “Julien related in a TTFA media interview. “Every footballer dreams of playing in the Champions League at some point in their life and I (am) just 22 years old and it happen at a young age in my life.”

Julien hopes to use the Champions League to showcase his talent.

“I hope I can play in the group stage and really show what I can do,” he said.

Julien said to have reached the Champions League was one of the ambitions of his club.

“Our goal was to qualify for the Champions League group. People think we couldn’t do it, but we got some new players and they motivated us,” Julien said. “Coach always said he would take us to the Champions League.”

Admittedly once a “fat fella,” Julien’s football path began with Gasparillo Youths, before he transferred to W Connection at youth level, earning a spot on the national youth team. He credits former national defender Brian Williams with being influential in his development.

Julien said his life changed when he scored a solo goal for the T&T Under-17s against Honduras at CONCACAF level. An agent spotted him and took him to Europe where, as an 18-year-old, he made his Fortuna Liga debut in Slovakia for AS Trencín against Slovan Bratislava on February 25, 2017. He joined his current team, FC Sheriff Tiraspol in 2020.

“Our league is not big. Our club is the biggest club in Moldova,” said Julien, who explained that while the ten-team Moldovan league might not be the most difficult in Europe, matches for Tiraspol are difficult because everyone tries to beat the big team.

Sheriff consists of players drawn from Europe, South America and Africa, with Julien being the lone Caribbean footballer. Julien has his own competition for his spot.

“I also have in my position a good left-back. He is from Brazil. It also challenges me to become a better player and fight for my spot on the team,” he said.

“Qualifying for the Champions League really opens up a lot of doors for the club,” he added. “People could recognise us more because we are a really top club (in Moldova). I think we have 18 training pitches. We have an indoor field. A really, really professional club,” he said.
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Offline Tallman

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Re: Keston Julien Thread
« Reply #46 on: August 27, 2021, 04:26:05 PM »
Keston Julien and FC Sheriff Tiraspol's UEFA Champions League SCHEDULE

Wednesday, September 15th: FC Sheriff Tiraspol vs Shakhtar Donetsk
Tuesday, September 28th: Real Madrid vs FC Sheriff Tiraspol
Tuesday, October 19th: Inter Milan vs FC Sheriff Tiraspol
Wednesday, November 3rd: FC Sheriff Tiraspol vs Inter Milan
Wednesday, November 24th: FC Sheriff Tiraspol vs Real Madrid
Tuesday, December 7th: Shakhtar Donetsk vs FC Sheriff Tiraspol
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Offline kounty

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Re: Keston Julien Thread
« Reply #47 on: September 16, 2021, 04:46:56 PM »
didn't see him come on for that match. was he even on the bench? their defense seem pretty solid, made up entirely of south american internationals. Does he get playing time for this squad? (or did sheriff just recently buy some more defenders to push keston down the order)?

Offline Tallman

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Re: Keston Julien Thread
« Reply #48 on: September 16, 2021, 05:20:12 PM »
didn't see him come on for that match. was he even on the bench? their defense seem pretty solid, made up entirely of south american internationals. Does he get playing time for this squad? (or did sheriff just recently buy some more defenders to push keston down the order)?

He is a regular starter on the team, but he has been sideline since picking up a hamstring injury in their second to last qualifier. He was on the bench yesterday.
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Offline Tallman

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Re: Keston Julien Thread
« Reply #49 on: September 16, 2021, 05:21:49 PM »
Keston Julien chats about facing Inter Milan and Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League!

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Offline Tallman

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Re: Keston Julien Thread
« Reply #50 on: September 20, 2021, 02:36:23 PM »
WATCH: Keston Julien provides the pinpoint cross to set up FC Sheriff Tiraspol's goal in their 1-1 draw with FC Zimbru

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/zl5qMsYJT5o?start=77" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/zl5qMsYJT5o?start=77</a>
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Offline grimm01

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Re: Keston Julien Thread
« Reply #51 on: September 28, 2021, 03:09:20 PM »
Keston get a 20 min sweat in a Champions League win over Real Madrid... ;)

Big up yuhself KJ!
« Last Edit: September 28, 2021, 03:10:55 PM by grimm01 »

Offline Deeks

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Re: Keston Julien Thread
« Reply #52 on: September 28, 2021, 03:39:00 PM »
They beat RM in the Bernebau. Real upset. Honestly, Sheriff played well. I am glad for Keston. He can say he played for a "mickey mouse" team that beat the  Real Madrid giant rat.

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Re: Keston Julien Thread
« Reply #53 on: September 28, 2021, 11:46:28 PM »
Trinidad and Tobago's Keston Julien makes winning CL debut vs Madrid.
By Joel Bailey (T&T Newsday).


TRINIDAD AND Tobago football team defender Keston Julien made his UEFA Champions League debut on Tuesday as his club Sheriff Tiraspol shocked Real Madrid 2-1 in their Group D match, at the Bernabeau Stadium, Madrid, Spain.

This is the first time that Sheriff Tiraspol, who are based in Moldova, are competing in the Champions League.

The 22-year-old Julien replaced midfielder Frank Castaneda in the 78th minute.

Jasrubek Yakhshiboev put Sheriff Tiraspol in front in the 25th minute before striker Karem Benzema equalised in the 65th minute, from the penalty spot.

However, Sebastien Thill netted in the 89th minute to guarantee full points for Sheriff Tiraspol, who defeated Shakhtar Donetsk 2-0 in their Group D opener, on September 15.

Sheriff sit atop Group D on six points, followed by Madrid (three points), Inter Milan (one point) and Shakhtar Donetsk (one point).

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Re: Keston Julien Thread
« Reply #54 on: September 29, 2021, 05:20:38 AM »
A dream moment for FC Sheriff Tiraspol defender Keston Julien as he made his debut in the UEFA Champions League against the mighty Real Madrid. FC Sheriff went on to create one of the biggest upsets in UCL history by winning the game 2-1.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/hse9-c9BkIg&amp;start=617" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/hse9-c9BkIg&amp;start=617</a>
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Offline ZANDOLIE

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Re: Keston Julien Thread
« Reply #55 on: September 29, 2021, 03:53:53 PM »
Congrats, must be an incredible feeling to be a part of UCL history
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Offline Tallman

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Keston Julien: FC Sheriff will get a little more respect now
« Reply #56 on: September 30, 2021, 08:12:42 PM »
Keston Julien: FC Sheriff will get a little more respect now
By Nigel Simon (T&T Guardian)


T&T senior men's team defender Keston Julien says his FC Sheriff Tiraspol will get a little more respect now from opponents going forward following their 2-1 upset of 13-time winners Real Madrid on Match Day Two of their 2021 European Champions League Group D series on Tuesday.

In what is being called one of the greatest upsets, if not the greatest in Champions League history, the 19-time Moldovan champions who were only founded in 1997 and made up of an eclectic group of players, clinched a famous win at the Santiago Bernabéu thanks to Sebastien Thill's last-minute stunner, their second group win in as many games.

Uzbekistan midfielder Jasurbek Yakhshiboev opened the scoring in the first half with his first Champions League goal before Karim Benzema drew Real Madrid level from the penalty spot just after the hour mark.

Sheriff's Greek goalkeeper Giorgos Athanasiadis produced the game of his life, coming up with no less than ten saves as Real Madrid time and again failed to get the better of him from open play before Thill produced a stunning half-volley from outside of the area to send shockwaves around Europe.

After two matchdays, Sheriff which defeated Ukraine’s Shakhtar Donetsk 2-0 in their debut match in mid-September leads the table with a maximum of six points followed by Real Madrid with three and Inter Milan and Shakhtar, both a point each after their goalless draw in Tuesday’s other match.

A former Presentation College of San Fernando player, Julien made a late appearance against Real Madrid, coming on in the 78th minute for Colombia Frank Castaneda and helping his team to the stunning win.

By making his debut, Julien joined former national players', David Nakhid, Dwight Yorke, Marvin Andrews, Russell Latapy, Neil "Shaka" Hislop and Khaleem Hyland as T&T players to have featured in the Champions League Group Stage.

Speaking to Guardian Media Sports on Thursday, Julien said to make his debut against Real Madrid was just a crazy feeling.

He explained, “I was nervous at the moment I went onto the field but as a footballer, I kept my head calm and to be on the pitch when we scored that last-minute goal was also crazy. When the goal was scored I was shocked and then went I went to celebrate as well because to win against Real Madrid is not something every underdog team could say they did and everyone was just crazy about it."

Reflecting on his team’s win Julien, who previously played in Slovakia with Trencin noted that maybe a lot of people think they were going to lose to Real Madrid, but as a team, their coach told them what to do to come away with the win. He said: “The guys went out there and everyone stuck to the plan. Yes everyone was nervous as we were going to play against Real Madrid in the Bernabeu and it’s not a normal league game it’s a Champions League game and Real Madrid is probably the most decorated Champions League team, so we just went out there stuck to the plan and everyone worked hard and we got the three points.”

He then boasted, “People doubted us, but we went and got the job done and that last-minute goal made it even sweeter, and to know that we beat Real Madrid at the last minute in the Bernabeu was a crazy feeling for me and my team."

Looking ahead Julien said his team's win over Real Madrid is now in the past.

Asked how he feels the win over Madrid will impact his team, he replied: “At the starting of the CL group stage I think everyone thought that Sheriff was a sure three points, but I think everyone is going to show us a little bit more respect now. We can't go back and do anything, it’s a great feeling you know, but we have to focus now on the next game and we have a game on Saturday against the team (Milsami) that is first in our league (Moldovan National Division). So, it’s not going to be an easy game as they will want to beat us and we will be playing them at their home, so we need to get those three points and then on October 19th we have to play in the Champions League against Inter Milan in Milan, also a really difficult game to play.

Sheriff will end round one play in the Champions League away to Inter Milan on October 19 before second-round matches against Inter Milan on November 3; Real Madrid on November 24, and Shakhtar on December 7 at the end of which the top two clubs will qualify to the knockout-out stage.

Having featured in his team’s last three matches after a month out with a hamstring injury he sustained in the CL qualifiers Third Round, a 3-0 home win over Dinamo Zagreb, Julien said he is pleased with his performances.

Before the injury, Julien had featured for Sheriff in each of their CL qualifiers starting in July against Teuta Durress, Alashkert, Red Star Belgrade and Dinamo.

“Since recovering from injury have played three games from my left-back position and gotten two assists, so now I think I am back to my rhythm and it's just about staying mentally focus and being good physically to get my chance in the starting eleven again. I hope to start one of our remaining Champions League games but the team is doing spectacularly at the moment and I just cannot come in. So I just have to await the moment to get my chance and hopefully, when I do get my chance again I will be able to seal my spot again,” explained Julien.
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Re: Keston Julien Thread
« Reply #57 on: October 01, 2021, 06:24:55 AM »
Keston Julien on 'dream' Champions League debut: It was a crazy feeling.
By Joel Bailey (T&T Newsday).


FROM watching his favourite football club’s games on TV to playing against – and defeating ­– them at home in a UEFA Champions League (UCL) group stage match, T&T defender Keston Julien said it has been “a dream come true.”

The 22-year-old Gasparillo native made his UCL debut on Tuesday with Moldovan club Sheriff Tiraspol, stunning Real Madrid 2-1 in their Group D match at the Bernabeu Stadium, Madrid, Spain.

It was also his club’s UCL debut and it is the only Moldovan club to qualify for the league to date.

On August 25, Sheriff drew 0-0 in the second leg of the qualifying play-off against Croatian club Dinamo Zagreb after winning 3-0 in the first leg.

Along with Sheriff and Real Madrid, in Group D of the UCL are Shakthar Donetsk of Ukraine and Italian club Inter Milan.

Sheriff now sit atop the group with six points, having also beaten Shakhtar 2-0 on September 15.

On Tuesday, Sheriff’s Jasurbek Yakhshiboev scored in the 25th minute to give his team the lead but Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema equalised in the 65th minute from the penalty spot.

It was a bittersweet moment for Sheriff in the 72nd minute as they thought they regained the lead but Bruno’s goal was ruled out as offside.

As both teams continued to push to score the winner, Julien replaced midfielder Frank Castaneda in the 78th minute.

It was only 12 minutes later Sheriff would get redemption as Sebastien Thill scored a 90th-minute screamer to make it 2-1, which they held on to for the six minutes of additional time.

Speaking with Newsday on Thursday, he said while he was nervous, he tried his best to stay focused.

“It was just a crazy, different feeling. I could have never imagined this but this is life – things happen.

“I was nervous and I think any player would be nervous in that situation but I just kept my calm.”

Asked if he was expecting to be subbed on, he said “not really” but: “I had three good games before this game so I think the coach saw I was playing well so he gave me my chance to make my debut against Real Madrid.

“Everybody was happy for each other, teammates congratulated me on my debut...Real Madrid is my favourite club so this was a dream come true.”

He even greeted and swapped shirts with Real Madrid’s number four, David Alaba, after the game.

“Yeah, it sounds a bit crazy that I was on a team that beat my favourite team,” Julien said laughing. “When we scored (the winner), I couldn’t believe it. I had to stop for a while and then it sunk in and I went to celebrate.”

One of his footballing idols, though he did not play, is Real Madrid’s Marcelo who also plays left-back.

He said family, friends and even strangers from T&T have been sending him encouraging and congratulatory messages, for which he is thankful.

“I’m just trying to keep T&T flag flying high,” he said.

His team will face Inter Milan on October 19 which he anticipates to be a tough game but he said the team is working very hard.

“Tuesday was history but we are trying to do better and move forward as players and as a club. We are not stopping here. We are trying to go up. We are going to give our everything.

“Before the tournament started, I think everyone may have counted us out and said we easy to get the three points from (easy to defeat) but things turned around and we are at the top (of the group) and I think more teams will start to respect us now.

“So yeah, it’s really crazy, I’m excited and I am just trying to stay focused.”

Real Madrid are second in Group D with three points, followed by Inter Milan (one point) and Shakhtar (one point).

Julien previously played for Slovokian Club AS Trencin and was part of the T&T squad for the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup qualifiers earlier this year.

He is the first T&T player to play in the UCL since the 2011/2012 season following midfielder Khaleem Hyland who played for Belgian club KRC Genk.

Other T&T players to compete in this league include Dwight Yorke – who won the league with Manchester United and was the top scorer with eight goals in the 1998/1999 season – Russell Latapy with FC Porto, Marvin Andrews with Rangers FC and Justin Hoyte with Arsenal.

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Re: Keston Julien Thread
« Reply #58 on: October 01, 2021, 02:57:28 PM »
No reflection on Keston at all or his accomplishment, but I hear that club is some kind mafia ting. Vastly richer than every other Moldovan team, and used to launder their money.

Doh be surprised if them giants they killing choose to bring up their dirt.

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Sheriff Tiraspol: Champions League team from an unrecognised state
« Reply #59 on: October 01, 2021, 05:36:33 PM »
Sheriff Tiraspol: Champions League team from an unrecognised state
By Robert O'Connor (BBC Sport)


This is an updated version of an article originally published in May 2019.

"Ask not what Trans-Dniester can do for you - ask what you can do for Trans-Dniester."

We're driving down Andriy Smolensky's favourite street. It's the only one in Tiraspol that doesn't cause his Land Rover to bounce and rattle over potholes and broken concrete.

"They've used a new technology to make it like this," he says, almost proudly. "I could drive up and down it all day."

The tiny de facto republic of Trans-Dniester - sometimes known as Transnistria - is a place frozen in time.

In its capital Tiraspol, the hammer and sickle motif of the former USSR is proudly displayed on billboards and government buildings. A huge statue of Lenin looks on from a plinth outside parliament, a mark of the pride and nostalgia the city feels for its Soviet past.

The present brings pride, too.

On Tuesday night, the city's football club - FC Sheriff Tiraspol - pulled off one of the biggest Champions League shocks of all time, beating 13-time European champions Real Madrid.

This is their first season in Europe's biggest club competition - and two games into the group stage they have a 100% record after an earlier win over Shakhtar Donetsk.

As Sheriff step into the unknown, so too does elite European football. This is the first time the Champions League has been played in one of Europe's 'unrecognised' de facto republics.

In international law, Trans-Dniester, a thin sliver of land on the border with Ukraine, belongs to the Republic of Moldova, a country formed in 1991 as the Soviet Union was collapsing.

In 1992, Russian-backed forces fought a separatist war here. When it was over, close to a thousand people had been killed, and the land east of Moldova's Dniester river had seceded to form a self-declared new state that remains unrecognised by the international community.

Trans-Dniester takes its 'independence' from Moldova seriously. It uses its own currency, the Trans-Dniestrian rouble, which cannot be obtained or exchanged anywhere else in the world, and which sits outside the international banking system. In Tiraspol, phone signals from Moldova don't register, despite the 'border' being only 20km away.

The territory has a reputation for corruption, organised crime and smuggling. American foreign policy think-tank the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace described it as "a haven for smugglers".

Millions of dollars of contraband are believed to have been moved across its border with Ukraine in recent years. Yet in Tiraspol, buildings are crumbling and the roads are cracked. The capital is a picture painted in Soviet grey.

Smolensky used to work here as a broadcaster, transmitting Russian-funded German-language programmes to Europe and the United States that "spread the message" of what Trans-Dniester is trying to achieve.

Before that, he was employed by the territory's biggest private firm, the Sheriff Company. He worked on immigration papers for overseas signings at the company's football club, FC Sheriff Tiraspol.

The Champions League debutants have played in Moldova's football league since 1999. They are kings ruling over a peasant land. The Sheriff Company annual turnover is almost double the state budget, and it funds the club directly from its vast wealth reserves. The rest of Moldovan football is impoverished by comparison.

While the rest of the top division play on sports pitches rented from municipal authorities, Sheriff's home is a specially constructed $200m (£154m) arena on the outskirts of Tiraspol. They have won 20 of the 22 league titles they have contested.

The name Sheriff is synonymous with power in Trans-Dniester. The Sheriff Company was founded in 1993, ostensibly as a charity with the aim of providing financial assistance to veterans of the local state police in the immediate post-Soviet era.

Today, it dominates everything from food retail to banking, from the media to politics. While nominally a private business concern, in December 2020 it won an overwhelming majority in the local parliament through its political party, Obnovlenie - Renewal.

There is no formal connection between the Trans-Dniestrian government and FC Sheriff, but its position of political and economic strength is steadfastly secure.

But the football club haven't always had things their own way. Petr Lulenov is a member of the Trans-Dniestrian Football Federation. He says that, before victory in this season's Champions League qualifiers, Sheriff's blueprint for European success had been failing for years.

"It was the business model of the club to sign foreign players from South America and from Africa, add to their value and then sell them to Russian clubs," says Lulenov.

But owing to the weakness of the domestic league and the subsequent lack of competition, the model wasn't sufficient for raising players' standards.

"It was also hoped that teams from Russia and Ukraine would come and use the club's facilities and that that would help create big football rivalries," says Lulenov. "But it isn't the way it's turned out. The football club is run at a massive loss."

Instead of transfer fees, the current squad have shown their value for Sheriff on the pitch. Of the XI that started their Champions League play-off first-leg win against Dinamo Zagreb, 10 had been signed since the end of the club's previous European campaign 12 months earlier.

Sheriff have rarely relied much on local talent, but a recent relaxation in the Football Federation of Moldova's regulations regarding homegrown quotas has freed the club up to pack out their squad with signings from abroad. In 2019, the club had 11 Moldovan passport-holders on their books; this season, it's just six. Two of them are backup goalkeepers, while another two are fringe players fresh out of the club's academy.

Instead, the team is a patchwork of nationalities and cultures. The Champions League squad features players from Malawi, Trinidad & Tobago, Uzbekistan, Ghana, Brazil, Luxembourg and Peru. Taken in the context of Trans-Dniester's unusual political status, there is little sense in which Sheriff truly represent Moldova.

Speaking to ordinary people on either side of the Dniester river, the view seems to be that the partition of the country serves nobody but the political elite.

That is a position echoed by authorities in Ukraine. Yulia Marushevska, head of the Odessa regional customs division, said in 2016: "[The situation] is suitable for contrabandists, and for high-ranking officials in Chisinau and Kiev.

"This is a matter of political will, both for the Ukrainian authorities and for the Moldovan authorities."

Since the crisis in Ukraine that began in 2014, there has been a tightening of border controls. In July 2017, a customs post, jointly operated by Ukrainian and Moldovan authorities, was set up at the border village of Pervomaisc-Kuchurgan.

The European Observatory on Illicit Trade (Eurobsit) estimates that 70% of the illegal trade passing through Trans-Dniester had previously entered and exited at this crossing, on its way to and from the Ukrainian city of Odessa.

Meanwhile, a 2014 free-trade agreement between Moldova and the European Union included Trans-Dniestrian businesses in its scope, and exports have since swung dramatically away from Russia and towards Moldova and the West.

It seems despite 29 years of deadlock, there are signs of greater co-operation.

"This conflict is not totally frozen, rather it is a conflict of frozen solutions," says Octavian Ticu, a historian and former minister in the Moldovan government.

"Moldovans have interests with Trans-Dniestrians, they deal well together in business."

Outside of the capital, football does what it can to soothe the horrors of the past.

In the town of Bendery, just a few kilometres inside the Moldovan border but under Trans-Dniestrian control, a military roadblock manned by khaki-clad soldiers beckons cars to a crawl as they flow in and out of town.

A mounted tank points its barrel triumphantly at the overcast sky. Along one side Cyrillic lettering bears a call to arms: За родину! - For the homeland!

Situated on the banks of the Dniester, this is a city of the crossfire.

Alexandru Guzun was due to play for Bendery club FC Tighina against FC Constuctorul the day a simmering conflict broke out into war. The date was 2 March 1992.

"Can you imagine the shock of arriving in a city you know well and seeing bombs exploding in the streets?" he says.

Guzun was due to meet with his team-mates at a hotel before travelling together to the club's Dynamo Stadium home ground. That isn't the way it worked out.

"The hotel was right on the river. Because of where it is located, with Tiraspol only a few kilometres one way and the Moldovan soldiers coming from the other, we were physically in the middle of the fighting."

Once inside the hotel, it quickly became clear that there was no way out. With bombs and shells exploding around them, Guzun and his team-mates took the only route open to them - downwards.

"We took everything we could down to the basement. Everything we needed to live. We would take it in turns to go up to the first-floor hotel restaurant to get supplies and take them back down for everyone. We were trapped there for three days," he said.

"On the second day of the siege, some pacifists who were on neither the Moldovan nor the Trans-Dniestrian side, came to the hotel. They erected a white flag from the top floor. These guys lived underground with us.

"We found out since that an agreement was reached between the two parties for a ceasefire to allow people inside the hotel to escape. I don't believe that could have happened without the guys who came with the white flag.

"But we still had to make it from the hotel over the bridge. Just because a ceasefire has been agreed, it doesn't mean no-one will shoot at you. Nobody would have investigated. The bridge was full of bullet holes."

Guzun left FC Tighina at the end of that season to move to Ukraine. Most of his team-mates followed. It took years for the city to recover from the distress suffered in the first half of 1992. A ceasefire in July that year brought the conflict to an end.

Back in Tiraspol, FC Sheriff's power is so entrenched they are unlikely to be surpassed by their impoverished rivals in the Moldovan league any time soon.

Last season's Divizia Nationala title was wrapped up with 32 wins from the 36 games and just a single defeat, as the team romped home by a 16-point margin.

A stale, uninteresting dominance prevails in the league. The hope now is that the Champions League and the visits of Real and Inter Milan will inject some much-needed excitement into the predictable spectacle of Sheriff's annual title processions.

"The football club will never collapse," says Lulenov. With a TV-rights windfall from Uefa pending and the on-going backing of the Sheriff behemoth, he is probably right. But still the roads in Tiraspol are cracked.

"Peace and prosperity, that's all we want," says Smolensky, swerving to avoid another gaping hole in the ground.

"When you have that, everything else takes care of itself."
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