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Barcelona return home as heroes

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May 18, 2006 23:17 IST

Barcelona were greeted by thousands of fans on Thursday as they paraded through the city on an open-top bus to celebrate winning the Champions League.

On their return to Barcelona from Paris captain Carles Puyol and coach Frank Rijkaard carried the trophy down the steps of the plane before the squad transferred to the city centre.

It was a rare appearance in the limelight by Rijkaard. Puyol had to convince him to come on to the victor's podium when the trophy was presented in the Stade de France, media reports said.

-Champions League coverage

The Primera Liga champions completed a rare double with a 2-1 win over 10-man Arsenal in Wednesday's final in Paris, the club's second European Cup success.

Barcelona city council had asked fans to avoid congregating at the airport so the festivities did not get started properly until the team arrived in the city harbour on a barge.

From there the players, all wearing t-shirts with the club's slogan "Mes que un club" (More than a club), boarded a bus to tour through the city streets.

For the second time in two weeks the tour will finish in the Nou Camp where the club have set up four giant screens for an audio-visual display.

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