MADRID - Thousands of fans took to the streets of Madrid on Thursday, setting off fireworks and waving flags, to celebrate Real Madrid's 2-1 win over arch rivals Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final.
"Winning the cup is fantastic, winning against Barcelona is even better," said Ezequiel Munoz, a 20-year-old student, in the Plaza de Cibeles Square in the heart of the Spanish capital where he gathered with a group of friends after the match.
"We are going to celebrate all night long," added Munoz, who wore a black and white Real jersey with the name of the club's defender Sergio Ramos on its back.
Gareth Bale scored a stunning individual goal five minutes from time to win Real Madrid's 19th Copa del Rey at the Mestalla in Valencia on Wednesday.
The Real Madrid squad will join the celebrations at the square once they arrive back at the Spanish capital, with a stage set up for them by a fountain in the middle of the square.
"I am very happy. I had no doubts that they were going to win because I saw that Madrid's defence was very tight and the counter attack was very well studied," said Juan Moreno, a 61-year-old plumber who waved a large Real Madrid flag.
A large screen set up in the square repeated highlights of the match to cheers from the crowd while images of a football and trophy were beamed on the walls of city hall.
"Real Madrid is the best club in the world, they deserve this win, they are playing very well," said Adel Aboukar, 24, who wore jeans and a black blazer and joined the celebrations with a friend after watching the match in a nearby bar.
After not winning the cup competition between 1993 and 2011, Real Madrid have won it twice in the last four years.