Madrid, for one night the capital of global football

Now Reading:

Madrid, for one night the capital of global football

Text size Aa Aa

It was hardly surprising that Madrid erupted into a party atmosphere on Saturday night.

With two of their teams contesting the Champion’s League final, an unprecedented show of footballing strength from one city, there would only be one winner, the Spanish capital, and so it proved.

Their fans’ traditional occupation of the Cibeles square and its fountain to welcome the team bus back from Lisbon in the early hours required some delicate logistics, as today the square is also a rallying point for voters in the European elections, which even football takes a back seat for.

But for several hours early this morning, in fact from the final whistle last night until daybreak, the square belonged to Real Madrid and the club’s many affluent supporters, crowing over their 10th European cup and victory over the working-class upstarts of Atletico from the “wrong” side of the city, who nonetheless are this year’s Spanish champions.

The electoral commission’s demands that the party stop at 4.30 AM were ignored, and although festivities are now on hold for today, by tonight it will all gear up again. Football is a very serious business around here.

“There was ecstacy at five minutes to six in the morning in Cibeles with the arrival of the Real Madrid players. As the sun rises in Spain’s capital, all the streets around are completely full of people, despite a limit on the celebration time because of today’s European voting.

The party, in any case, is going to continue in some hours time. Around 20.30 this evening Real Madrid’s players will gather in Madrid City Hall and later on gather with the supporters in the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium,” says euronews’ very tired Carlos Marlasca, in Madrid.