Sevilla's Cup celebrations continue into the night

May 11, 2006

MADRID, May 11 (Reuters) - A three-hour delay to Sevilla's return flight from the Netherlands failed to dampen the spirits of the thousands of fans who flocked to greet the newly crowned UEFA Cup winners on Thursday evening.

The Andalucians claimed their first European trophy in their centenary season on Wednesday, thrashing Middlesbrough 4-0 in the final in Eindhoven, to spark wild celebrations in the red and white half of Seville.

Club captain Javi Navarro and coach Juande Ramos emerged from the plane holding the trophy, before the whole squad took to an open-top bus to head for the city centre.

There were so many cars and fans on the streets that the bus was forced to progress at a snail's pace.

Up to 15,000 fans thronged the Plaza de San Francisco in the centre where the team were due to display the trophy from the balcony in the town hall.

After that the bus was continuing to the team's Sanchez Pizjuan stadium where 20,000 were already reported to be waiting for their heroes.

In true Andalucian spirit the fiesta is expected to continue well into the early hours of Friday morning.

Sevilla, who still have a chance of qualifying for next year's Champions League, host champions Barcelona in the Primera Liga on Saturday.