Italian team returns to thunderous welcome

Updated: 25 February 2007 10:35 IST

Italy's triumphant World Cup squad returned home on Monday evening to delirious crowds.

Rome:

Italy's triumphant World Cup squad returned home on Monday evening to delirious crowds. Team captain Fabio Cannavaro, clutching the trophy, was first to emerge from the chartered plane that brought the team back home from Germany. Acrobatic Air Force planes streaked overhead, colouring the sky with streams of red, white and green smoke - hues of the Italian flag. Fans waited for hours for the players to arrive at the Circus Maximus, in Rome, for a victory rally. The players stood on the top level of an open-roofed bus that struggled to move through the sea of fans. The outpouring of fans had overwhelmed police escorts in the streets and squares of the capital, and forcing the bus to a crawl, as the players made their way to their first stop in Rome, a toast hosted by Italian Premier Romano Prodi. "You made us again feel the joy for winning with a great team game," said Prodi. The players at times were as delirious as their fans. Francesco Totti, a hometown hero, leaned out of a window in the premier's office and held the trophy out to the crowd below, which roared in delight. The fans danced with joy at the Circus Maximus, as a plump, reddish moon shone and fireworks lit the sky above Rome. (AP)

Topics : Football Italy
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