Euro champs return home to a grand welcome

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:07 IST

Europe's new soccer champions returned to a heroes' welcome on Monday as thousands of partying fans lined the streets to greet them.

Athens:

Europe's new soccer champions returned to a heroes' welcome on Monday as thousands of partying fans lined the streets to greet them. Music to "Zorba the Greek" blared out and fireworks exploded as the players were showered with honours at the all-marble Panathenian stadium, where the first modern Olympics were held in 1896. Supporters, still hoarse from wild nightlong celebrations, roared "Greece, Greece" and "Bring on Brazil" as the shock European Championship winners arrived. Coach honoured More than 100,000 people in and around the stadium sang the national anthem and chanted "God is German" to honour coach Otto Rehhagel, who has been offered Greek citizenship. A beaming Rehhagel sat holding the cup at the front of a bus, which brought the team from the airport. Thousands of motorcycles blaring their horns followed the bus on its 35-kilometre route as it ploughed through a sea of flares and Greek flags. National colours of blue and white were draped over the city, over balcony rails, flapping out car windows, painted onto faces, tied around pet dogs and made into hats, T-shirts, champagne labels and cake decorations. Angelos Charisteas' winning header against Portugal was shown all day on giant outdoor television screens - the moment that sealed Greece's remarkable three week run past hosts Portugal, Russia, Spain, France and the Czech Republic. (AP)

Topics : Football
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