From Football Field to Battlefront: Yuriy Vernydub Trades Cleats for Combat

Sheriff Tiraspol’s Shock Victory and Manager’s Sacrifice

In a historic upset that took European football by storm, Sheriff Tiraspol achieved a remarkable triumph by defeating Real Madrid at the Bernabeu Stadium in the Champions League. However, just five months later, the head coach of the Moldovan team, Yuriy Vernydub, made a heartbreaking decision to leave the club and return to his native Ukraine to join the fight against Russia.

A Heavy Heart on the Europa League

Yuriy Vernydub found himself in Portugal with the Sheriff team, preparing to face Braga in the Europa League. The evening before the match, Vernydub received a shocking phone call from his son at 4:30 am, informing him of Russia’s large-scale military operation against Ukraine. This devastating news left Vernydub in a state of complete shock, which inevitably affected the team’s performance. Despite his personal struggle with the news, the determined coach managed to maintain his composure and support his players throughout the ordeal.

Unfortunately, Sheriff suffered a 2-0 defeat against Braga, but Vernydub’s thoughts were fixated on his family back home. With the conflict escalating and countless individuals attempting to flee the war-torn region, Vernydub was resolute in his mission to return to Ukraine as swiftly as possible.

From the Match to the Frontlines

After the match, Vernydub spoke with the general director of Sheriff and revealed his intention to immediately travel to Ukraine to reunite with his family. With the team bound for Tiraspol by bus, Vernydub made arrangements to be picked up from Odessa. Departing Tiraspol early on Sunday morning, he successfully reached his family’s location in Zaporozhye later that evening. Vernydub wasted no time and, following a brief stay at home, promptly enlisted in the army.

The coach made the conscious decision to inform his players that he would not be returning. He humorously speculated that the club would discover his absence when they noticed his absence from the bench on match day. However, Vernydub’s focus was no longer on football but on the safety and well-being of his loved ones.

Choosing to Fight Despite the Options

Although the management of Sheriff offered him the possibility of relocating his family to Moldova, Vernydub declined the offer. Witnessing the mass exodus of people fleeing the country during this trying time reinforced his conviction to resist panic and confront the crisis head-on. Firmly rooted in Zaporozhye, Ukraine, Vernydub held steadfast in his commitment to the cause.

From Coaching to Combat

Instead of directing his team from the sidelines during a match against Milsami, Vernydub finds himself preparing for deployment with the Ukrainian army. As a part of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, he is currently undergoing training as a member of an artillery brigade. The uncertainty of where and when he will be deployed hangs in the air, but Vernydub remains resolute in his readiness to defend Ukraine.

When asked about his fears, Vernydub responded with utmost resolve, stating that he has lived his life and remains firm in his choice to defend his country. There is no room for hesitation as Vernydub embraces the challenging path ahead.

A Journey from Glory to Battlefield

The memories of Sheriff Tiraspol’s victories against Real Madrid and Inter Milan in the Champions League, played under Vernydub’s leadership at the prestigious Santiago Bernabeu and San Siro stadiums, now feel like distant echoes of an era long gone. A new chapter has begun for both the team and its manager, where the battlefield takes precedence over the football field.


Yuriy Vernydub’s decision to leave his coaching role at Sheriff Tiraspol to join the fight against Russia demonstrates his unwavering dedication and love for his country. The sudden turn of events has disrupted the team’s trajectory after their awe-inspiring victories, and now they must navigate a new reality without their esteemed coach. Vernydub’s sacrifice serves as a powerful reminder of the human stories unfolding amidst the backdrop of sporting triumphs and conflicts.


1. How did Sheriff Tiraspol manage to defeat Real Madrid?

A: Sheriff Tiraspol’s victory against Real Madrid in the Champions League was a remarkable achievement driven by their exceptional performance and tactical prowess. Despite being considered the underdogs, the Moldovan team executed their game plan with precision, capitalizing on the opportunities presented to them.

2. What impact did Vernydub’s departure have on the team?

A: Vernydub’s departure undoubtedly left a void within the team. His leadership, guidance, and strategic expertise were instrumental in Sheriff Tiraspol’s successes. Adjusting to a new coach and his tactics will require time and adaptability from both the players and the management.

3. How did Vernydub’s decision inspire others?

A: Vernydub’s decision to prioritize his family and his country amid the escalating conflict resonated deeply with many. His unwavering commitment to defending Ukraine and the sacrifices he made inspired others to reflect on their own roles and responsibilities during challenging times.

4. What impact did Vernydub’s military enlistment have on the Sheriff management?

A: Vernydub’s enlistment meant that Sheriff Tiraspol had to face the reality of moving forward without their esteemed coach. The management had to swiftly adapt and find a suitable replacement to guide the team through future competitions and maintain their level of performance.

5. How will Vernydub’s legacy be remembered?

A: Vernydub’s legacy will forever be intertwined with Sheriff Tiraspol’s historic victories against football giants like Real Madrid and Inter Milan. His sacrifice will be remembered as a testament to unwavering dedication, both on and off the field. His determination to defend his country despite the personal and professional costs will inspire future generations.

Doug I. Jones

Doug I. Jones

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