Just hours after Olga Carmona scored the winning goal for Spain during the Women’s World Cup final in Sydney on Sunday, the Royal Spanish Football Federation announced the death of her father.
“REF deeply regrets to report the death of Olga Carmona’s father. The soccer player learned the sad news after the World Cup final,” the statement said. “We send our most sincere hugs to Olga and her family in a moment of deep pain. We love you, Olga, you are the history of Spanish football.”
Carmona shared a post on Twitter about her father later Sunday night, too.
The 23-year-old gave Spain the 1-0 lead over England in the 29th minute, pushing the ball down the pitch and sending it to the bottom corner of the goal with her left foot. She danced and celebrated with her teammates before she was named the final’s most valuable player.
It’s unclear when Carmona’s father died. The statement didn’t mention a cause of death or say when exactly she was made aware of his passing.
After the trophy presentation, Carmona was chosen to speak to reporters at the post-match press conference. She didn’t say or do anything to indicate she had been given the news.
The fullback had another loss on her mind during the game. She celebrated her goal by lifting up her shirt to show that she had ‘Merchi’ written on her compression top.
“First of all I want to say that this victory, this achievement, goes to the mother of one of my friends who has recently passed away,” she said after Sunday’s final. “I celebrated the goal with her shirt and from here dedicate it to the whole family with all my love.”
Sunday marked Carmona’s second time as the hero for Spain that week. She also notched a dramatic 89th-minute winner in La Roja’s semifinal victory over Sweden on Tuesday, becoming the first player since Carli Lloyd of the U.S. in 2015 to score in a World Cup semifinal and final.