Spain hero Olga Carmona has been handed some devastating family news in a sad post-script to the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Carmona scored the only goal of the final at Stadium Australia, that landed an incredible 1-0 victory for Spain over England.
The 23-year-old Carmona celebrated and danced on the field, and appeared to participate normally during the trophy presentation.
But at some point in the aftermath, Carmona would soon be told of her father’s death.
According to reports, he had been fighting a long illness.
Spanish media outlet Relevo reported that he had died on Friday but the family chose to keep the news from Carmona so she could remain focused on the final.
Olga Carmona was told of the heartbreaking news after the game. Credit: NurPhoto via Getty Images
Carmona paid a heartfelt tribute to her father in an emotional statement on social media on Monday morning.
“And without knowing it, I had my star before the game started,” she wrote in comments translated from Spanish.
“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.”
The post included a photo of herself kissing her winner’s medal and an emoji of a mended heart.
The Spanish soccer federation announced the news late on Sunday in Madrid, but did not give a cause of death.
“The RFEF deeply regrets to report the death of Olga Carmona’s father. The soccer player learned the sad news after the World Cup final,” the federation said on social media.
“We send our most sincere hugs to Olga and her family in a moment of deep pain.
“We love you, Olga … You are part of the history of Spanish soccer.”
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Carmona scored with a left-footed strike in the 29th minute to give Spain victory over England as the month-long World Cup reached its climax in Sydney.
She had also scored a late winner in La Roja’s 2-1 last-four win over Sweden, making her the first player since American Carli Lloyd in 2015 to score in a Women’s World Cup semi-final and final.
As well as helping her country lift the trophy for the first time, Carmona was also named the final’s most valuable player on Sunday.
Carmona played a starring role in the final. Credit: AAP
She celebrated her goal with a tribute to a friend who recently lost her mother.
“All of us, we felt that this team had something special,” the Real Madrid defender said after Spain won the title.
Madrid released a statement on Sunday night about her father’s death and offering condolences to the player and her family.
Before the news of the death of Carmona’s father was made public, the federation said title celebrations were set to take place after the squad’s arrival in Madrid on Monday night.
“Real Madrid C.F., its president and its Board of Directors deeply lament the passing of the father of our player Olga Carmona,” the club said on Instagram.
“Real Madrid wishes to express its condolences and affection to Olga, her family and all of her loved ones. Rest in peace.”
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– With AAP