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  Wednesday, 15 May, 2002, 21:22 GMT 22:22 UK
Hampden enjoys the party
Real Madrid supporters celebrate at Hampden Park
Real Madrid fans celebrate their ninth European crown


Everyone knows the Scots like a party. And if football is involved, so much the better.

So when the Champions League final, and all that entails, came to Glasgow, the stage was set for a good old bash.

Since Monday, the city centre has gradually become swamped by the followers of the respective finalists, with the Spanish contingent outnumbering their German counterparts by about five-to-one.

The city's tapas bars have never been so popular, while beer consumption has reached a new high even by Glasgow's standards.

You got the feeling that the citizens of Glasgow were genuinely delighted to be playing host to their continental visitors, with 1,000 fans waiting - in vain as it turned out - at Glasgow Airport for a glimpse of the arriving Madrid side.

Raul celebrates his early goal for Real Madrid at Hampden Park
Raul's early goal sparked a Spanish party

Some Scottish newspapers went as far as running headlines in German and Spanish.

By Wednesday lunchtime, things had reached fever pitch, with George Square being taken over by hordes of fans as the sponsors displayed their wares.

Pre-match, and you could not get a taxi for love nor money in the street.

And when one did appear, it was a slow crawl south to Hampden.

In the streets of Mount Florida, horns were blown and songs were sung as the touts tried to make an honest shilling by charging 300 for a ticket.

Seas of red and black on one side and white and purple on the other surged towards the stadium.

Once inside, the disparity in terms of support was even more evident, with the Spanish followers occupying the whole of what is traditionally regarded as the Rangers end of the ground.

Zinedine Zidane volleys the winning goal for Real Madrid against Bayer Leverkusen
Zidane provides a worthy winner
Fans of Bayer filled less than half of the Celtic end, but they did not let that stop themselves being heard.

Pre-match entertainment was provided by The Proclaimers - as Scottish a band as you get - and what an inspired choice they were.

Both sets of fans joined in the chorus of I'm Gonna Be (500 miles) as the bespectacled twins emerged from inside a giant football.

To the match itself, and it was the Real fans who raised the roof first when Raul scored inside the first 10 minutes.

But they were silenced for much of the rest of the half - Bayer grabbing a quick equaliser and then dominating the remainder of the first period.

They were back on their feet, though, on the stroke of half-time as the peerless Zinedine Zidane struck the sweetest of volleys high into Jorg Butt's net.

And so it remained until till the end and Real captured 'la novena' - their ninth European Cup.

Glasgow's bars and clubs have been granted special late licenses because of the final and you can be sure that thousands of Scots, Spaniards and maybe even some Germans, will be taking advantage.

Me? I'm off to join the fiesta with a couple of cervezas myself.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Uefa chief executive Gerhard Aigner
"Scottish people seem proud to host international events"

Real triumph

Our man in Glasgow

1960 revisited

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