MADRID - A sea of cheering Real Madrid fans swamped the streets of Spain's capital in a joyous victory party early Sunday after snatching their 10th Champions League title in a dramatic come-from-behind 4-1 victory over local rivals Atletico Madrid.
Tens of thousands of supporters roared with delight as Cristiano Ronaldo and the rest of the winning squad arrived at the central Cibeles Square, the traditional home for raucous Real Madrid victory celebrations, in an open-topped white bus just before 6 am (0400 GMT).
Fans cheered Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos as, following tradition, he leant over a stage and wrapped a club flag around a statue of the Greek goddess Cybele that adorns a fountain in the square before giving it a kiss.
"In 2002 I was there to celebrate Real's ninth Champions League win. So I could not miss this one," said Jorge Rodriguez, a 30-year-old nurse who was wrapped in a Real Madrid flag.
A 12-year wait
Many fans had danced to thumping rock music and chanted in the square for hours as they waited for their heros to return from Lisbon for a victorious welcome in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Delirious Real supporters who had been following the Lisbon match on giant screens or television flooded onto Madrid's streets, set off firecrackers, beeped car horns and surged into the city centre to celebrate the end of their 12-year wait for the "Decima" - a 10th European trophy.
Fans who had packed into Real Madrid's 81,000-capacity Bernabeu stadium cheered as they watched the win in a live relay.
Millions of other Spaniards followed the action on television in overspilling bars and cafes or family living rooms.
"It was time for the Decima. We have been waiting a long time," said a joyous 20-year-old student Angela Suarez as she watched Real move ahead on their way to victory in a nail-biting Champions League final, the first in history to feature two teams from the same city.
Crowds of fans chanted "Champions, Champions" while some set of firecrackers.
Some 1,250 police deployed in the Spanish capital to prevent clashes, cutting off traffic in the city centre and setting up check-points to search fans entering the zone.