Work in Sports
Madrid celebrates Realís Champions League title
Posted: Saturday July 08, 2000 04:26 PM
MADRID, Spain (CNNSI.com) -- Spanish football's royalty welcomed home the European crown on Thursday.
Fans numbering in the tens of thousands lined the streets, waving flags and cheering the return of Real Madrid, which arrived from Paris with its eighth European title.
Enduring sprinkling rain, players and staff rode atop a bus with a larger-than-life image of the team photograph on the side.
Police officers riding motorcycles rode alongside the bus as it rolled into town from Barajas airport and crawled its way toward Paseo de la Castellana, the elegant boulevard that bisects Madrid from north to south, and then on to Plaza de la Cibeles, a traditional rallying point.
An estimated 100,000 people gathered at the square around midnight Wednesday after Real Madrid trounced Valencia 3-0 to win the Champions League at Stade de France in Saint-Denis, just outside Paris.
But after about an hour, the jubilation in Madrid turned violent, as fans scuffled with police, and riot squads ended up using tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd.
A spokesman for the Madrid's Samur ambulance service said 230 people were treated for injuries, including 55 police officers. None was in serious condition. Ten people were arrested.
Thursday's celebrations were to culminate with a party at Real Madrid's legendary Santiago Bernabeu Stadium downtown.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.