Inter Milan fans heeded Jose Mourinho's call and showed up en masse at Malpensa airport overnight to welcome the club home after reaching the Champions League final.
Some 5,000 fans waved banners and Inter's black-and-blue scarves when the electronic board announced Inter's arrival at 2:28 am (0028 GMT) on Thursday.
Despite a 1-0 loss in Barcelona, Inter advanced to its first European Cup final in 38 years 3-2 on aggregate.
In post-match interviews, Mourinho said he wanted the fans to greet the club.
"We deserve this big crowd," defender Ivan Cordoba said. "It's only right that our fans came and welcomed us like Mourinho asked." The headline in Thursday's Gazzetta dello Sport read, "Inter: Wall of Glory" _ next to a photo of defender Walter Samuel hoisted on the shoulders of Christian Chivu.
Samuel, whose nickname is The Wall, had a crucial performance for Inter, which played most of the match with 10 men. The only negative note at the airport were whistles directed at 19-year-old forward Mario Balotelli, who has been at odds with fans since throwing his jersey to the ground and storming off the field after Inter's 3-1 first-leg victory.
In the May 22 final in Madrid, Inter will face Bayern Munich. "We still haven't won anything," right back Maicon said.