The Gazzetta dello Sport hailed the Rossoneri, pointing out that they are now the most successful club in the world, with Silvio Berlusconi - who immediately joined in the celebrations on the pitch after the trophy had been presented to captain Paolo Maldini - claiming the result was a victory for Italy.

The Corriere dello Sport declared that the defeat of two years ago had now been well and truly avenged, while Tuttosport simply had the headline 'Great Milan'.

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Milan vice president Adriano Galliani - another very visible dignitary on the pitch at full-time - alluded to the unsettling Calciopoli verdicts which hit his club last summer, claiming that the win in Athens was all the more sweet for the troublesome year they have endured.

He said: "It is an immense joy to have this trophy at the end of an extraordinary year. Of the five Champions League trophies we have won, I have to say this is perhaps the most enjoyable after everything we have been through."

And Gennaro Gattuso also made reference to last summer's match-fixing scandal by saying: "That'll teach those who say Italian football is in crisis! In one year we have won the World Cup and the Champions League. Some crisis."

Matchwinner Pippo Inzaghi, who appeared overcome with emotion at the final whistle after his two goals won the trophy for the Diavoli, insisted the victory was the greatest achievement of his life.

"This has been an unforgettable night and a momentous occasion for all of us," the poacher said. "One thing is for sure – this night will remain long in my memory as the best moment of my career."

Midfielder Massimo Ambrosini, who missed out on the final two years ago said: "This was a great year for me, I have been wearing this shirt for over 10 years and I had already won a lot, but this season I was finally at the centre. I needed this."

Ambrosini's partner in the centre of the pitch, Clarence Seedorf, spoke of his pride to have won the Champions League for a second time with Milan; and for a fourth time in his career.

"I am so proud to be part of this team. We worked hard this year, a very difficult year. Liverpool had a lot of fighting spirit and were more aggressive, but in the second half we had the better of the game."

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