Olga Carmona scored the biggest goal of her life in the 29th minute of the Women’s World Cup Final when she netted the championship-winning goal for Spain. The Spanish left-back celebrated the moment by revealing the word “Merchi” on her undershirt in a heartfelt gesture in memory of her friend’s mother, who had died recently.
However, Carmona’s triumphant winning goal that secured the Women’s World Cup for Spain was followed by a family tragedy. Moments after the historic win, Carmona was given the tragic news of her father’s death by the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), who announced the news on X (formerly Twitter).
Smiles and Tears
The RFEF did not reveal when Carmona’s father died or provide a cause of death, nor did they say when Carmona was told the news. “We deeply regret that we must announce the death of Olga Carmona’s father,” the RFEF wrote in a short statement on X.
“[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.”
Carmona’s club Real Madrid also issued an official statement addressing the death of the World Cup hero’s father.
“Real Madrid, the president and the board of directors are deeply saddened by the passing of the father of our player Olga Carmona,” the statement read. “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.”
An RFEF representative told Reuters that Carmona’s father had been battling a prolonged illness and sadly succumbed on Friday, which was two days prior to the World Cup Final. However, there is no confirmation on his exact time of death and it remains unclear if he died while the final match was in progress.
Reuters reported that Carmona’s mother and siblings had journeyed to New Zealand during the group stage of the World Cup.
Following the trophy presentation, Carmona was asked to address reporters during the post-match press conference. Despite the recent news about her father’s passing, she conducted herself in a manner that did not reveal any indications of having received the news.
However, hours later, Carmona took to social media to share her emotions, addressing her father’s death publicly for the first time. “And without knowing it, I had my Star before the game started,” she wrote.
“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.”
Carmona scored her winning goal in the first half, granting Spain a 1-0 win over England. She was also named the Most Valuable Player on Sunday.
In the semifinal played on Tuesday, Carmona also scored a crucial goal in the 89th minute of the match. This crucial goal secured Spain‘s place in the Final with a 2-1 victory over Sweden.