Real fans celebrate 11th European crown in divided Madrid


Madrid (AFP) – Real Madrid fans descended into the streets of the Spanish capital in the early hours of Sunday morning to celebrate a historic 11th European Cup win after beating local rivals Atletico Madrid on penalties.

“The 11th is here,” fans chanted with many expected to wait for their heroes to return from Milan with the trophy at the Plaza de Cibeles — a traditional meeting point for Real’s trophy celebrations — in the heart of the city well after sunrise.

At Real’s Santiago Bernabeu stadium around 50,000 supporters followed the action from a tense final on four giant television screens.

Three-time World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo struck the winning spot-kick after Atletico’s Juanfran was the only player to miss in the shootout when his low effort came back off the post.

The game finished 1-1 after 90 minutes as Real captain Sergio Ramos’s early goal was cancelled out by Atletico substitute Yannick Carrasco 11 minutes from time.

It is the second time in three years that Real have defeated Atletico in the final.

Two years ago in Lisbon, Ramos was also the hero as his stoppage time equaliser to make it 1-1 sent the game into extra-time before Real romped to victory with three more goals in the extra 30 minutes.

“I am delighted. Two Champions League titles in three years, it is incredible,” said Monica Gonzalez, a 25-year-old Real fan.

“They (Atletico) deserved it. They almost played better. I am happy my team won, but it could have been any of the two teams.”

Madrid is the only city ever to have two representatives in a Champions League final.

However, Gonzalez’s boyfriend Jaime de Francisco, an Atletico fan, couldn’t hide his disappointment as once again the red and white half of Madrid was forced to life in Real’s shadow.

Just 500 metres away from wild scenes of celebration at Cibeles, the Neptuno fountain — where Atletico fans go to celebrate their triumphs — was empty.

It is the third consecutive year that Atletico have exited the Champions League at the hands of Real.

Moreover, Atletico are now the only team to have appeared in three finals never to have won the Champions League.

The football-mad Spanish capital of 3.2 million people had been dominated by the two clubs crests and colours in a frenzied build-up to the final, which was expected to attract a worldwide audience of 180 million people in over 200 countries.

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