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IN PICS: They came, they drank, they conquered. How Liverpool fans turned Madrid red

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IN PICS: They came, they drank, they conquered. How Liverpool fans turned Madrid red
Two Liverpool fans crashed out in Sol after the Champions League final on Saturday Photo: Paul D. Thacker
11:01 CEST+02:00
Some 70,000 football fans flooded into Madrid for the Champions League final at the weekend. Paul D. Thacker spent 48 hours on the Madrid streets following the fans and capturing some of their highs and lows.
Madrid authorities had set up two dedicated fanzones. Tottenham fans were given Plaza Colon and Liverpool fans, who far outnumbered them, were told to congregate in the Plaza Felipe II.
 
But the fanzones didn't contain them, and throughout the day and well into the night the streets in the capital were filled with British men, many shirtless and heading towards sunburn, most belting out chants at the top of their voices.
 
Liverpool fans seemed to  be taking over, much more ubiquitous than their Tottenham rivals.
 
The Liverpool Fanzone in Madrid. Photo: Paul D. Thacker
 
With temperatures in Madrid reaching 33C in the shade, it was a struggle to keep cool, especially in the fan zones. 
 
Keeping the beers safe. Photo: Paul D. Thacker
 
 
 
But at 6pm the fanzones were closed, and with no big screens broadcasting the game, fans spread out across the city seeking bars with a view of a screen.
 
Fans spilled out across the city, crowding Puerto del Sol, filling the terraces of Plaza Mayor, and packing out the bars around Plaza Santa.
 
 
Irish bars across Madrid were the first to fill to capacity. Photo: Paul D. Thacker
 
They crammed into Irish bars until there was no more room, and then they filled the streets outside, peering through windows to try and catch a view of the television.

Liverpool fans seemed to outnumber Spurs but there was little trouble. Photo: Paul D. Thacker
 
Hordes of fans squeezed into small airless bars, draining beer supplies, and turning the air blue with their banter. 

Photo: Paul D. Thacker
 
Then, with a two-nil win under their belt, the Reds claimed the streets of Madrid. Some were rowdy, swinging from trees and jumping onto parked cars.
 

Photo: Paul D. Thacker
 
But considering the huge crowds and the amount of alcohol consumed, there was relatively little trouble. 
 
Only 14 arrests related to the Champions League in total, around half a dozen for fighting, four for touting fake tickets, one for masturbating in public and another for breaking down the door of an apartment he wrongly thought he was staying in for the night.
 
Dozens were pickpocketed during the weekend, according to accounts on supporters' facebook groups, as thieves took advantage of the crowds, and 172 had to seek medical treatment from emergency services - mostly heatstroke and too much alcohol.
 
Some were unable to find beds for the night. But that didn't really matter.
 
 
 
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