By TALES AZZONI
AP Sports Writer
MADRID (AP) — Several thousand Real Madrid fans spent the early hours of Sunday celebrating the club’s latest Champions League title in the Spanish capital, and a big welcome was planned for the players at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium later in the day.
Fans took to the streets of Madrid and packed the club’s traditional celebration spot, the Cibeles square, after Madrid defeated Liverpool 1-0 on Saturday for a record-extending 14th European title. The fans lit up flares and chanted the club’s songs and anthem throughout the night.
Many of them had been among the 55,000 who had packed the Bernabéu to watch the final played in suburban Paris. A big screen was set up at midfield so fans could watch the match.
Vinícius Júnior scored a second-half winner in France to give Madrid its fifth Champions League title in nine seasons.
The crowd at the Bernabéu erupted when the goal was scored and then cheered loudly as captain Marcelo lifted the trophy with the rest of the squad.
Both at the Bernabéu and at Cibeles, Madrid fans often directed derogatory chants at Kylian Mbappé, the Paris Saint-Germain star who last week announced he would not be joining the Spanish club.
The team later on Sunday will parade through the city carrying the Champions League trophy on an open bus. The festivities will begin in a ceremony at a cathedral, then the squad will meet with local authorities and head to the Cibeles, where most fans are expected to be waiting for the team.
Marcelo is expected to drape the statue of the goddess Cibele with a Madrid flag and scarf.
At the Bernabéu, players will address the crowd and again lift the trophy amid confetti and fireworks.
Less than a month ago, Madrid supporters had already packed the Cibeles square when the team won its 35th league title.
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