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Spain’s victorious Women’s World Cup stars receive royal welcome on return to Madrid

<i>Manu Fernandez/AP</i><br/>The team has a photo taken with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez.
Manu Fernandez/AP
The team has a photo taken with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez.

By Matias Grez, CNN

(CNN) — Spain’s Women’s World Cup heroes received a royal welcome on their return to Madrid, with Queen Letizia once again in attendance for the celebrations, as she was in Sydney for the final.

The team enjoyed an open-top bus parade through the Spanish capital, taking in the adulation of the tens of thousands of fans that had lined the streets wearing Spain’s famous red jersey.

Other fans twirled scarves above their heads or waved flags as the bus passed by, with the players dancing and waving back from the top of the bus.

The World Cup heroes eventually arrived at the Madrid Río Park, where a stage had been set up for the team to celebrate.

There was a particularly emotional moment soon after the players had taken to the stage when the team lifted defender Olga Carmona into the air.

Carmona, who scored the match-winning goal in the Women’s World Cup final, was told soon after the final whistle that her father had passed away.

Fans showed their support for the country’s newest sporting icon, chanting her name repeatedly as her teammates hoisted her aloft.

After speeches from the players and plenty more singing and dancing – including a singalong with Spanish singer Vicco – the celebrations eventually finished in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

There will have likely been some tired eyes when the players met Spain’s Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, just a handful of hours later to have a photo taken with the trophy outside of the Moncloa Palace.

Many of the players are likely exhausted and sleep-deprived, but the celebrations for their historic achievement could go on for a few days yet.

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