Thousands celebrate Real’s Champions League title

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MADRID (AP) - About 50,000 Real Madrid fans packed the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on Sunday to celebrate the club’s record 10th European Cup with a blockbuster show befitting its galactico image.

Real beat city rival Atletico Madrid 4-1 after extra time Saturday night in the Champions League final to set off the celebrations, which carried on through the Spanish capital night after the European champions arrived home in the early hours.

The celebration started with the team’s open-top bus cruising into Cibeles Square, where team captains Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos draped a club flag around the statue in the center of the fountain as Real does after every trophy victory.

The party continued later Sunday night at the Bernabeu, where a laser show and the chants of thousands of fans honored Madrid’s players and coaching staff in a rock concert atmosphere.

Coach Carlo Ancelotti led the crowd in singing a celebratory song that was recorded especially for the occasion. Madrid had already recorded the song before ending its obsessive 12-year wait for “La Decima” with Saturday’s victory in Lisbon.

Madrid’s players were introduced one by one, before Casillas and Ramos hoisted the European Cup high at center stage as streamers sprayed confetti and Queen’s “We are the champions” was played over the loudspeaker.

“Thanks for waiting,” Casillas told the crowd amid chants of his name, before Cristiano Ronaldo took the microphone to lead a chant of “Hala Madrid!” - a traditional rallying cry for the club.

With president Florentino Perez watching on, the team paraded European football’s most prestigious trophy around the Bernabeu in a lap of honor that Ronaldo recorded on his mobile phone as teammate Gareth Bale quietly soaked in the atmosphere.

Several players showed off new looks as Luka Modric cut his trademark locks while dark-haired Dani Carvajal bleached his beard blond.

Real was also welcomed to city hall in an afternoon ceremony to celebrate the victory in the first final between clubs from the same city.

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