Barcelona celebrates Champions League win

Updated: 25 February 2007 10:40 IST

Barcelona supporters poured out on streets to greet their team, a day after it beat Arsenal to win the European Champions League title for the second time.

Barcelona celebrates Champions League win

Barcelona:

Barcelona supporters poured out on streets to greet their team, a day after it beat Arsenal to win the European Champions League title for the second time.An estimated half million people turned out as Barcelona players and officials travelled from the Olympic port to its Camp Nou stadium in a giant truck.The truck pounded out music and was bedecked with banners proclaiming "Campions d'Europa" (Champions of Europe).Brazilians Ronaldinho and Juliano Belletti, who scored the winner in the 2-1 victory, used drumsticks to hit a pair of timbales at the front of the truck, close to the trophy.Second victoryThe parade was the second this month for Barcelona, which was cheered by more than a million people on May 7, after winning its second straight Spanish league title.The team arrived at Camp Nou to another rousing reception, preceded by a sound and light show and musical performances. Captain Carles Puyol and midfielder Xavi Hernandez carried the first Champions Cup for 14 years onto the field.After the players performed a lap of honor, coach Frank Rijkaard addressed the crowd in Catalan, referring to the journey the team had made to the French capital for the final."We have traveled 2,000 kilometers to take the first step. I know that this team hasn't taken its last step. Long live Barcelona,'' he said.Ronaldinho, the FIFA world player of the year award winner the last two years, told supporters that the team was "living the moment it had dreamed about most."The team, all wearing T-shirts bearing the club slogan "More than a club'' in Catalan, was then transported by boat to the port, close to the monument of Christopher Columbus.Riots breakoutBarcelona's victory at Stade de France in Saint-Denis on Wednesday sparked celebrations by an estimated 125,000 in downtown Barcelona shortly after the final whistle although the party was marred by outbreaks of violence.Police said 45 people were arrested after several shops were looted and garbage containers and telephone kiosks were set afire.Medical assistance was required for 109 people, including six police officers.Thirty people were taken to hospitals, although none with serious injuries.Many were hurt after police mounted a charge against the troublemakers. Barcelona city hall valued the damage at $128,000.Supporters also set garbage bins alight in other Catalan towns, although no injuries were reported. (AP)



Topics : Football Barcelona
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