Real Madrid president dedicates Champions League trophy to Iraqi fans killed in cafe terror attack
An Iraqi man walks past a poster bearing the portraits of the victims at a cafe, that was popular with local fans of Spain's Real Madrid football club, in the Balad area, north of the capital Baghdad, on May 14, 2016, a day after a deadly raid claimed by Islamic State group militants. At least 16 people were killed and 30 wounded, including several members of the security forces, in the attack in the town of Balad and the ensuing chase, officials said. AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP
A group of the Real supporters' club were killed in the town of Balad, near the city of Samarra, two weeks prior to the club's final in Milan on Saturday.
Los Blancos beat city rivals Atletico Madrid in the Champions League final to lift their 11th European crown, and Real chief Perez insisted on dedicating the triumph to those killed in the attack.
"I want to dedicate this victory to the Iraq fans. This was a terrible act on people that do more than support Real Madrid. Perez also praised Zinedine Zidane after the historic victory, having been in charge of first-team affairs for just 145 days before the final.
"Zidane to Real Madrid has been very important in Madrid's history: he won as a player, as an assistant coach and as a head coach.
‘I’ve got it, president', he told me the same as in 2001. Atletico, who have now played in three Champions League finals and still not won the trophy, were unlucky not to crown their strong season with silverware, according to Perez.
"I want to dedicate a few words to Atletico, who have been doing a great job over the years,” The 69-year-old added.
“It makes me a little sad that with the effort they have made they have not won [the Champions League].
"All seasons are difficult; here we have seen that we fought until the end, in La Liga also. I do not want to talk about other issues. La Liga is very difficult - I have not won leagues above 90 points before. “We had a good season, but so have Atletico."