BY TALES AZZONI
MADRID (AP) — Olga Carmona, whose goal won the Women’s World Cup for Spain on Sunday, learned after the final of her father’s death, the Spanish soccer federation said.
He had been ill and died while Carmona’s mother and other relatives traveled to Australia to watch her play in the final, the federation said early Monday, without giving more detail on the cause of death.
The family decided to wait until after the title celebrations to give Carmona the news.
“And without knowing it, I had my Star before the game started,” Carmona said on X, formerly known as Twitter, along with a photo of her kissing the winners’ medal. “I know that you gave me the strength to achieve something unique. I know that you were watching me tonight and that you are proud of me. Rest in peace, dad.”
On Monday, Carmona wrote again on X to thank people for their kindness and say she’ll attend the victory ceremony.
“Yesterday was the best and worst day of my life. I know that you would want to see me enjoying this historic moment, so that’s why I’ll be with my teammates, so that from where you are you know that this star is also yours, dad.”
Before the news of the death of Carmona’s father, the federation said the title celebrations will take place after the squad’s arrival in Madrid on Monday night.
Carmona scored with a left-footed strike in the 29th minute to give Spain a 1-0 victory over England in Sydney, Australia. She had also scored a late winner in La Roja’s 2-1 win over Sweden in the semifinals to become the first player since American Carli Lloyd in 2015 to score in a World Cup semifinal and final.
“We love you, Olga,” the federation said on X. “You are part of the history of Spanish soccer.”
The 23-year-old Carmona was named the final’s most valuable player on Sunday. She had celebrated her goal with a tribute to a friend who recently lost her mother.
“I think 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 Sunday night about her father’s death and offering condolences to the player and her family.
Carmona’s Spain teammate Irene Paredes lost her father a few days before Spain began its preparations for the World Cup. The defender dedicated the title to him on Sunday.