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AC Milan fans celebrate triumph

AC Milan fans feel like in Heaven after their team got European soccer's biggest prize.

"We are in seventh heaven," 30-year-old Milan supporter Fabio Bononi said Thursday, a day after the AC Milan beat Liverpool 2-1 in the Champions League final to win the European Cup for the seventh time.

The team was to be honored with a parade through Milan on Thursday evening, meaning the all-night celebration for Rossoneri supporters would likely continue throughout the day.

"No one believed that we would get this far in the tournament, let alone win it after all that happened this season," Bononi said. "And the victory is all the sweeter because it was against Liverpool."

Milan was nearly barred from the competition following sanctions in the Italian match-fixing scandal. Instead, it got revenge on Liverpool in a rematch of the 2005 final, when Milan lost on penalties after squandering a 3-0 halftime lead.

"That was nightmare. This is a dream," Bononi said.

Thursday's Italian news dailies also lauded Milan's triumph in Athens.

"And go!!!!!!!" read the front page of Gazzetta Dello Sport, each exclamation mark representing Milan's seven European Cup triumphs.

"Milan: Seven Beauties," ran a headline in Milan-based Corriere Della Sera.

"Inzaghi's magic night," Rome-based La Repubblica said, referring to Milan striker Filippo Inzaghi, who scored both of his team's goals.

Thousands of people gathered to watch the game Wednesday on a giant screen in downtown Milan's Piazza Del Duomo, some brandishing flags in the team's red and black colors.

After the final whistle, exalted fans tore through the streets on foot, bicycles, mopeds and cars, shouting "Forza Milan!" and "Champions of Europe!"

Drivers honked their horns, while rock band Queen's victory anthem, "We Are The Champions" could be heard on car stereos.

Some Rossoneri supporters couldn't help taunting city rival Inter Milan.

"Whoever isn't jumping is black and blue!" they jeered, referring to Inter's colors.

"Half the city didn't get any sleep last night. I'm sure of it," Bononi said. "The Inter half!"

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