Spanish soccer star and captain Olga Carmona didn’t know in the 29th minute of the Women’s World Cup Final against England that her goal would be the game-winner.
But riding that high of victory for Spain’s first-ever World Cup came to a sad end as she learned that her father had passed shortly after securing the win.
The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) posted on social media announcing Carmona’s father’s passing. A spokesperson for the RFEF said he had been battling an illness for a long time.
"The RFEF deeply regrets to announce the death of Olga Carmona's father. The footballer learned the sad news after the World Cup final," a statement from the organization was translated from Spanish. "We send our most sincere embrace to Olga and her family in a moment of deep sorrow. We love you, Olga, you are Spanish soccer history."
An RFEF spokesperson told Reuters that Carmona’s father passed away on Friday. But her family and friends didn’t tell her, so that she could focus on the Final, according to Relevo, a Spanish media outlet.
Carmona’s mother and brothers were present in New Zealand for the group stages of Spain’s run in the World Cup, but they quickly rushed home when they realized things were getting worse with their father, according to Reuters. They returned to Australia on Saturday for the Final to support Olga.
Carmona also posted to X, saying in her caption, which was translated from Spanish, "I had my Star before the game started."
"I know that you have given me 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 wrote.
Real Madrid, who Carmona plays for outside of her national duties, released a statement as well.
"Real Madrid, the president and the board of directors are deeply saddened by the passing of the father of our player Olga Carmona," their statement was translated from Spanish to English. "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."
When Carmona found the back of the net in the first half against England, she lifted her jersey to reveal a word on her shirt underneath that read "Merchi." It was in honor of her best friend’s mother, who had recently passed away.
Spain won the Final 1-0, thanks to Carmona, who also scored the game-winner in the semifinal against Sweden to punch their ticket to the Final as well.