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Real Madrid 1-2 Sheriff Tiraspol: Madrid Media Following Moldovan Club To Airport To Ask If They Are Pros Reflects Weight of Achievement

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Author: James Noble

Sheriff Tiraspol made it six points out of six in their debut Champions League campaign with a stunning 2-1 victory at the Bernabéu last Tuesday. The familiarly intense coverage of Los Blancos this time saw a reporter from Spanish sports show El Chiringuito follow the victors to the airport and even ask if they were full-time professionals – which they very much are.

It is arguably the standout result of the European season so far. Many will likely feel it is the result of 2021/22 so far, full stop. And it will take some beating. Not only was it what Sheriff did, it was how they did it.

After Jasurbek Yakhshiboev’s headed opener in the first half was cancelled out by Karim Benzema’s 65th-minute penalty in the Spanish capital, Sebastien Thill’s stunning, swirling 25-yard left-footed half-volley earned Yuri Vernydub’s side the most famous of victories in emphatic fashion. If they were after wow-factor, they more than provided it.

It put the Moldovan club top of Group D and felt like football at its best. Many – unsurprisingly and justifiably – pointed out that nights like these are precisely the kind of thing that the proposed European Super League, which Real Madrid President Florentino Pérez has been such an advocate of, would have denied us. So, after completing their immensely impressive night’s work, they headed to the airport – where they were greeted by a reporter from El Chiringuito.

He asked the team’s Peruvian centre-back Gustavo Dulanto: “Do all the members of the squad only play football? Or do you also work in something else? You’re all professionals, right?”

“Yes, we’re all professionals. Yes,” an understandably puzzled-looking Dulanto replied. In truth, a quick bit of research should have answered that question. Whether it was one stemming from genuine curiosity or had some other intention, it is – unfortunately – something that comes across as somewhat condescending.

Not the kind of response Sheriff were worthy of but, then again, it is not one that is reflective of the overall reaction – which has been full of admiration and excitement. They have, it feels, become an embodiment of some of the very best elements of football. And, if they continue on this trajectory, we’ll be seeing them in the Champions League beyond Christmas.They won’t want this night to be as good as 2021/22 gets for them.

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Deborah James Awarded Damehood After Raising Over £3,000,000 for Charity

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Deborah James has said she is ‘blown away’ after being made a Dame for her tireless campaigning for cancer charities.

The inspirational broadcaster and author announced earlier this week that she is receiving hospice care at home after stopping her cancer treatment, and has said she ‘could have weeks to live at most’.

In recent days, the You, Me & The Big C host has raised over £3million for charities that have helped her over the past five years, through her Bowelbabe Fund.

After calls for her to receive the Royal honour, it has been revealed that Deborah is now officially Dame Deborah James.

‘I don’t know what to say. I’m blown away and feel incredibly honoured,’ she said reacting to the news.

She added ‘I don’t feel like I deserve this. I can’t tell you what this means to my family, it’s so much to take in.’

Her husband Sebastien Bowen, said the public support of the fundraiser has ‘brought a piercing ray of light and hope into this, the darkest of times’, adding that the Damehood is ‘so truly deserved’.

Downing Street said the Queen was ‘pleased to approve the honour of damehood’ be bestowed upon Deborah James.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson hailed Dame Deborah as an figure of inspiration to the country.

‘If ever an honour was richly deserved, this is it,’ the leader said.

‘Deborah has been an inspiration and her honesty, warmth and courage has been a source of strength to so many people.’

Thank you for all your incredible work.

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EuroMillions: UK ticket holder claims £184m jackpot

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One lucky ticket-holder’s life has changed forever after winning the £184million EuroMillions jackpot. It means they have become the biggest ever National Lottery winner, operator Camelot has said.

Whoever they are, they have knocked the anonymous winner of £170million in October 2019 off the top spot. They have also become the National Lottery’s 14th winner of more than £100million.

The winner, who is yet to be named, is also the second person in the UK to win the EuroMillions jackpot this year, after someone bagged £109million in February.

The winning numbers were 3, 25, 27, 28 and 29 – plus the Lucky Star numbers 4 and 9. One ticket matched all seven numbers to win £184,262,899.10.

Senior winners’ adviser for the National Lottery, Andy Carter said: “What an amazing night for one UK ticket-holder who has scooped the incredible £184million EuroMillions jackpot – they have become the UK’s biggest ever National Lottery winner.”

The claim will now go through a validation process to ensure terms and conditions are met and once the ticket has been validated the winner can choose whether or not to remain anonymous.

What would you do with all that money?

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Baby P’s Killer Mum Tracey Connelly Set for Prison Release after Judge Gives Green Light

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Tracey Connelly, the mother of Baby P, who died after months of abuse, will be released from prison after the Parole Board rejected a Government challenge against its ruling.

The decision comes after Justice Secretary Dominic Raab appealed against the recommendation to free Tracey Connelly from prison.

Connelly was jailed at the Old Bailey in 2009 for causing or allowing the death of her 17-month-old son Peter at their home in Tottenham, north London, on August 3 2007.

Dominic Raab said the decision demonstrated why the system “needs a fundamental overhaul – including a ministerial check for the most serious offenders”.

Now 40, this was Connelly’s fourth parole review after she was released on licence in 2013 but recalled to prison in 2015 for breaching her parole conditions by “developing intimate personal relationships” online and inciting another resident at her accommodation to engage in “inappropriate sexualised behaviour”.

In a statement, the Parole Board said: “In summary, the judge has concluded that the panel did take into consideration all evidence mentioned by the application and made rational conclusions.

“The reconsideration decision clarifies that the weight given to the evidence given by the Secretary of States witnesses, who supported release, and the proposed external controls, was proportionate and the reasons were clearly outlined in the decision letter.

“The final ground on the rationality of the outcome was also rejected on the grounds of not reaching the threshold, as defined by law, for becoming unreasonable.”

The Parole Board, which is independent of government, received a formal request to review the decision to free Connelly last week.

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