Thousands of Real Madrid fans piled into the streets of the Spanish capital and filled the club’s 80 000 capacity Santiago Bernabeu stadium on Sunday to welcome home their heroes after an historic 11th European Cup win.
An open top bus emblazoned with the word “Campeones” (Champions) carried the team, who showed off the trophy to fans, just after sunrise on their return from beating local rivals Atletico Madrid in a penalty shootout in Milan.
“How can I not love you!,” shouted the ecstatic crowd at the Plaza de Cibeles – a traditional meeting point for Real’s trophy celebrations.
The Real players, who arrived home from Milan around 6:00 am (0400 GMT), headed directly for Cibeles where the fans had been celebrating since midnight.
The squad snapped photos of the raucous crowd from a platform specially erected at Cibeles before captain Sergio Ramos waved the large silver trophy for the cheering supporters.
Later after being greeted by Madrid mayor Manuel Carmena and heads of local government, the team returned to a full Bernabeu for a spectacular light and fireworks show.
Three-time World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo struck the winning spot-kick after the two sides couldn’t be separated with the score at 1-1 after 120 minutes of play.
It is the second time in three years that Real have defeated Atletico in the final.
“To win two Champions Leagues in three years shows that our efforts have had their reward,” said Real captain Sergio Ramos.
“We are the best club in the world.”