Champions League

Did Malmö fans just win the Champions League?

Did Malmö fans just win the Champions League?
Malmö FF coach Åge Hareide thanks the fans after the match. Photo: AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza
Malmö have had their Europe dreams crushed by Real Madrid in the Champions League, but their fans were widely praised on Wednesday after a stunning show of support in the face of an 8-0 defeat.

Already out of Champions League, Malmö had their hopes of making it into the Europa League finals dashed by Real Madrid with an 0-8 mauling away in Spain on Tuesday evening.

“I'm like a wounded animal when I get a loss like this, but at the same time I think I take it sensibly. Life goes on, even if it's very bad to end in this way,” said Åge Hareide after the game.

It was the Norwegian coach's last match before his contract runs out.

“I thanked them for the match and wished the guys a merry Christmas. What are you supposed to say when everyone is so down? I'm very fond of the guys and have said so much before,” he said.

Some 3,500 Malmö fans who had travelled to Madrid did their best to keep spirits up, continuing to chant and cheer for their team even when the humiliating match was drawing to an end.

“It was 8-0 and they were singing as if we had won the Swedish Championship. If we won a match at all, it was the one in the stands,” impressed defence player Anton Tinnerholm told Sydsvenskan.

But the Malmö footballers apologized for not offering the fans a more spectacular performance in return.

“It's bad towards the fans, they did an amazing job even in the last game of the year and they had deserved more,” said Jo Inge Berget.

“After the match they even called us out to thank us. We should be thanking them,” added Oscar Lewicki.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo continued his record-breaking form in the Champions League by becoming the first player to score 11 goals in a single season of the group stages.

The World Player of the Year broke the previous record of nine held by himself in 2013/14 and Luiz Adriano for Shakhtar Donetsk last season by scoring four goals against the Swedish champions.

Ronaldo now has 88 Champions League goals to his name, nine more than Barcelona rival Lionel Messi.

The Portuguese scored all 11 of his goals in just four games after netting a hat-trick at home to Shakhtar Donetsk and doubles away to the Ukrainians and Malmö in September.