Madrid lays down red carpet for Spanish stars

An open-top double-decker bus ferried the team like a small boat picking its way through a vast ocean of hundreds of thousands of adoring Spaniards waving flags, cheering and dancing to thumping rock music.

Spanish captain Iker Casillas (left) waves to fans as the Euro 2012-winning Spain team took an open bus ride through Madrid yesterday

Helicopters hovering above filmed a crowd that seemed to carpet the entire heart of the capital to rejoice in Spain's historic 4-0 thrashing of Italy in the Ukrainian capital Kiev.

At the climax of the party, the players basked in glory in the central Plaza de Cibeles square, where Queen’s “We are the Champions” blared from loudspeakers. In the centre of the square, a huge Spain flag was draped around the neck of an emblematic stone fountain of the goddess of nature riding a chariot hauled by lions. The team joined a rock group to sing and dance on a huge stage in the square, with towering video screens behind. Rappers blared out the song “No hay dos sin tres (You can’t have two without three)” in praise of Spain’s unprecedented third straight title and the team danced along, wearing red shirts. 

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