Jubilant Real fans converge on Madrid

Thousands of jubilant Real Madrid fans converged on the centre of the Spanish capital on Thursday to hail their conquering heroes and celebrate the club's first La Liga title in four years.

Coach Jose Mourinho, captain Iker Casillas and the players were driven along the thronged Paseo de Recoletos in an open-topped bus decked out in the club colours to the Cibeles fountain, traditional site of Real's title celebrations.

With rock music blaring and confetti filling the air, Casillas scaled a specially erected scaffold and tied a club flag around the neck of the Cibeles statue to signal the end of the three-year stranglehold on the Spanish championship of Real's bitter rivals Barcelona.

"This is what we work for, to give joy to the fans," Mourinho, who has now won titles in his native Portugal, England, Italy and Spain, said in an interview with the club's television channel.

Mourinho's compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo added: "This is just a feeling of great joy.

"It's my first league here in Spain and I am really happy and the fans really deserve this."

Real wrapped up the title on Wednesday when a 3-0 win at Athletic Bilbao left them seven points clear of Barca with two games left.