Sea of red welcomes home Europe champions

Up to 750 thousand fans have welcomed home Champions League winners, Liverpool.
Up to 750 thousand fans have welcomed home Champions League winners, Liverpool.

Hundreds of thousands of fans have welcomed Liverpool back to Merseyside, with the team parading their Champions League trophy through the city centre.

Manager Juergen Klopp and his players flew home to Liverpool John Lennon Airport on Sunday before boarding an open-top bus emblazoned with the message, "Champions of Europe".

Holding aloft the European Cup, Liverpool's players were met by a sea of red.

Huge crowds of fans wearing the team's jersey and flying flags packed out roadsides, chanting and singing in the sunshine.

Liverpool beat Tottenham 2-0 in the all-English final in Madrid on Saturday.

A spokeswoman for Liverpool City Council estimated half a million fans turned out for the parade. Merseyside Police later put the number closer to 750,000.

People crammed the 13-kilometre route which took almost 4 hours to cover. Some held inflatable European Cups and let off smoke canisters.

Klopp sat at the back of the bus, occasionally giving the impression of a teacher on a school outing.

However he was far from the party pooper, often jumping out of his seat to give a thumbs-up, a wave or a hearty laugh.

"I don't know exactly how many people live in Liverpool but it does not look like there is a lot of space for fans of other clubs," Klopp told LFC TV.

"It is incredible. If you are a young kid, which do you support?

"There are not a lot of opportunities or options other than Liverpool. You see in the eyes how much it means. It is really intense."

Australian Associated Press