THOUSANDS of despondent Manchester United supporters returned to the Home Counties last night after the club's Champions League final defeat in Rome.
Carrying nothing more than some truffle oil, a tin of Calabrian tuna and a bottle of really lovely Tuscan red, the United fans said if it wasn't for the glorious detail in the Trevi Fountain the whole trip would have been a total disaster.
Godalming based-supporter Julian Cook said: "I've been a die-hard fan since they started winning things, so I was terribly miffed at the end.
"But then we came across this gorgeous little trattoria just off the Via Della Vicenza that did the most exquisite Asparago di Veneto. I felt like Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday."
But Martin Bishop, from Dorking, accused champions Barcelona of cheating. "They kept hanging on to the ball and wouldn't give it back. It was just so blatant."
He added: "I was really very angry at the time, but then I thought of all that wonderful Catalan architecture and found it within myself to forgive them."
Uefa president Michel Platini hailed the game as, 'a triumph for the sponsors, hospitality suites, television residual broadcast revenue and, to some extent, Barcelona'.
Meanwhile the Catalan club made history by fielding the first Champion's League winner grown from a petri dish.
Barca coach Ian Guardiola, said: "When he came to us as a boy, Messi was no bigger than my thumb. But bathing him daily in monkey-brain growth serum grew him into the unstoppable dwarf he is today."