Soccer star Olga Carmona scored Spain’s winning goal in the FIFA Women’s World Cup final, but her history-making performance was overshadowed by tragic news.
After the Sunday, August 20, game in Sydney, Australia, the 23-year-old Carmona learned that her father had died that past Friday. Spain’s Relevo website claimed that Carmona’s family decided to withhold the information so she could focus on the game. The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) announced the news to the public after the game.
“We deeply regret that we must announce the death of Olga Carmona’s father,” read the RFEF’s statement. “[Carmona] learned of the sad news after the World Cup final. We send our deepest condolences to Olga and her family at this time of deep sorrow. We love you, Olga, you are Spanish football history.”
A spokesperson for RFEF told Reuters that Carmona’s dad had been fighting a long illness.
After the game, Carmona took to Twitter to share her thoughts on both her victory and her loss. “Without knowing it, I had my Star before the game started,” she tweeted on Sunday, referring both to the star that will be added above Spain’s team crest after their World Cup win and her father after his passing. “I know that you have given me the strength to achieve something unique. I know that you have been watching me tonight and that you are proud of me. Rest in peace dad.”
Later, she reflected on how her dad would have felt about her win. “I have no words to thank [you for] all your love,” she wrote via Twitter on Monday, August 21. “Yesterday was the best and the worst day of my life. I know that you would like to see me enjoy this historic moment, that is why I will be with my colleagues, so that from wherever you are you know that this star is also yours, dad.”
Carmona scored the only goal of the final between Spain and England on Sunday, leading Spain to its first-ever Women’s World Cup championship. After scoring, she lifted up her jersey to reveal the word “Merchi” written on her undershirt. She later explained that she wrote the message in honor of the late mother of one of her friends and dedicated Spain’s victory to the family.
Carmona’s club team, Real Madrid, offered condolences after news of her father’s death was made public following the game.”Real Madrid, the president and the board of directors are deeply saddened by the passing of the father of our player Olga Carmona,” read the club’s statement. “Real Madrid would like to extend our condolences and heartfelt sympathy to Olga, her family and all her loved ones. May he rest in peace.”