The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has announced the death of Olga Carmona’s father just hours after she scored the winning goal in the Women’s World Cup final.
Real Madrid left-back Carmona, 23, scored the only goal of the game as Spain beat England 1-0 in Sydney on Sunday to win their first-ever major trophy in the women’s game.
Carmona learned of her father’s death after the final. An RFEF spokesperson told Reuters he had been fighting an illness for a long time and died Friday.
“We deeply regret that we must announce the death of Olga Carmona’s father,” the RFEF wrote in a short statement published on social media.
“[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.”
After the final whistle, she was among the Spanish players celebrating and dancing on the field, and appeared to participate normally during the trophy presentation.
Later on Sunday, Carmona shared on social media that “without knowing it, I had my own star before the game even started.”
“I know that you gave me the strength to achieve something unique. I know you have been watching me tonight and you are proud of me. Rest in peace dad.”
Carmona’s club, Real Madrid, issued a condolence message for their defender.
“Real Madrid, the president and the board of directors are deeply saddened by the passing of the father of our player Olga Carmona. 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,” says the club statement.
Carmona had celebrated her winning goal by revealing the word “Merchi” on her undershirt in memory of a friend’s mother who had recently died.
“This victory is for the mum of one of my best friends who passed away recently,” she explained after the game when asked about the message.
It was the second time in a week that Carmona had come to Spain’s rescue. She also scored a stunning 89th-minute winner in the semifinal victory over Sweden on Tuesday.
“I think all of us, we felt that this team had something special,” the Real Madrid defender said after Spain won the title.
La Roja are scheduled to fly back to Madrid from Sydney early Monday morning local time, with celebrations planned in the Spanish capital later in the day.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.