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July 12, 2010 | World Cup 2010

World Cup 2010: Spain return to rapturous welcome

BBC


Spain's victorious World Cup squad have landed in Madrid amid scenes of joyous celebration in the country's capital.

A sizeable crowd chanted and car horns sounded as skipper Iker Casillas, carrying the trophy, led the team down the steps of the plane.

The players will have a brief siesta before a reception hosted by Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.

More than one million fans are expected to line the streets for an open-top bus parade starting at 1800 BST.

The parade will end about two hours later at the esplanade near the Puente del Rey, where the festivities are expected to continue officially until midnight.

Many fans made the trip to Barajas Airport to greet the returning heroes from South Africa.

The flight landed at 1338 local time with Spanish flags flying from the cockpit windows and two fire engines making a guard of honour with their jet streams.

The plane was emblazoned with the words 'Campeones' (Champions) and 'Orgullosos de nuestra seleccion' (Proud of our squad).

Casillas, who was in floods of tears after the final whistle in Johannesburg on Sunday night, again appeared to be on the verge of crying as he led his team across the tarmac to a waiting coach.

They were taken to a nearby hotel to eat and rest before they head to the Royal Palace for a reception with the Spanish royal family and then to the Moncloa Palace to be greeted by the prime minister.

European champions Spain won the World Cup for the first time in their history thanks to Andres Iniesta's extra-time winner against the Netherlands at the Soccer City Stadium.






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