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Madrid return to heroes' welcome

Published: Monday 26 May 2014, 0.03CET
Real Madrid CF received a rapturous reception as they arrived back home following their dramatic UEFA Champions league final triumph against Club Atlético de Madrid.
by Paul Bryan
from Estadio Santiago Bernabéu

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Published: Monday 26 May 2014, 0.03CET

Madrid return to heroes' welcome

Real Madrid CF received a rapturous reception as they arrived back home following their dramatic UEFA Champions league final triumph against Club Atlético de Madrid.

Real Madrid CF completed an emotional return to the Spanish capital following Saturday night's UEFA Champions League win against Club Atlético de Madrid, with a victory ceremony held at their Santiago Bernabéu home.

As they welcomed their heroes into a packed stadium late on Sunday, Madrid fans chanted "Sí, sí, sí, la décima ya está aquí," fully savouring the club's long-awaited tenth European Cup title. The scenes of elation mirrored those which had greeted the 2014 UEFA Champions League winners on their arrival back in the Spanish capital in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Then, the victorious squad were met by tens of thousands of cheering supporters, who waited until 06.00CET to witness the ceremonial donning of the scarf on the Cibeles Fountain. That honour was given to Sergio Ramos, scorer of the added-time goal that forced extra time in Saturday's dramatic finale at the Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica.

Acknowledging the gathered multitudes in the early hours, goalkeeper Iker Casillas said: "Thanks so much to all of you who were cheering us on in Lisbon, at the Bernabéu and here [at Cibeles]. Sergio [Ramos's] goal was scored thanks to all of you – you're the greatest."

After some well-earned rest, the ten-time European champions then took to the streets of the capital once again, presenting the world-famous trophy at Madrid's town hall. From there, club president Florentino Pérez said: "This European Cup belongs to all Madridismo [everyone connected with the club], but it also belongs to the community of Madrid because both sets of fans from this city were extraordinary. Thanks also to the players because you never stopped believing in yourselves or in the shirt that covered your hearts. Our culture calls on us to look to now better our record [of ten European Cups]."

President of the Madrid town council, Ignacio González added: "The most important game in the world was played in Lisbon on Saturday and I would like to offer my congratulations not only to the champions, but also to Atlético for their run [to the final]. Madrid gave an example that fight and dedication are essential for a final triumph." Praising the victors, he then concluded: "Yesterday you were great, today you are eternal."

Events culminated with a spectacular fireworks display at the Santiago Bernabéu, where a giant stage – surrounded by each of the club's ten European Cups – was taken over by the Madrid squad, led by coach Carlo Ancelotti. "We would like to offer this trophy to all Madrileños [Madrid citizens] here in the capital and all over the world," captain Casillas explained. "Here's hoping that next year we can recreate these moments as it would mean we have once again won something very important."

Last updated: 26/05/14 14.15CET

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