The celebrations of Spain’s Euro 2012 triumph began in Madrid on Monday when Vicente del Bosque’s record-breaking team flew in from Kiev with the coveted Henri Delaunay trophy.
La Roja thrashed Italy 4-0 on Sunday to win their second straight Euro, and became the first team ever to win three consecutive major trophies. Spain won the 2010 World Cup between their Euro triumphs in 2012 and 2008.
Hundreds of fans were waiting for captain Iker Casillas and his teammates at Madrid’s Barajas airport.
The players, looking weary but euphoric, waved to the fans and then departed for a hotel, where they will have a well-earned rest before Monday night’s parade through the streets of Madrid.
More than a million fans were expected to pack the capital’s streets during the parade, in a celebration which promised to surpass those of 2010 and 2008.