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Olga Carmona scores World Cup-winning goal for Spain, then learns of father's death

Her strike in the 29th minute brought the Spanish women their first title in the world's most famous tournament, the only goal in their 1-0 victory over England.
Olga Carmona soccer father death
Spain's Olga Carmona celebrates after scoring her team's first goal during the soccer world cup final in Sydney on Aug. 20, 2023. Steve Christo / AFP - Getty Images

Olga Carmona scored the World Cup-winning goal for Spain in what turned into an incredibly bittersweet Sunday — as she was told after the match that her father had died, officials said.

The Royal Spanish Football Federation said in a statement that it regretted "to report the death of Olga Carmona’s father" and that she "learned the sad news after the World Cup final."

"We send our most sincere hugs to Olga and her family in a moment of deep pain," the federation said. "We love you, Olga, you are the history of Spanish football."

Carmona herself spoke out later Sunday.

“I know that you have given me the strength to achieve something unique,” she wrote on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter. “I know you have been watching me tonight and that you are proud of me. Rest in peace, dad.”

A spokesperson for the federation told Reuters that Carmona’s father had died on Friday after fighting a long illness.

Carmona's strike in the 29th minute gave Spain a 1-0 lead over England, and La Roja held on for the its first Women's World Cup championship.

She celebrated the goal by lifting her jersey to show an undershirt with the handwritten word “MERCHI.” She said the match that it was a tribute to the mother of a close friend who had recently died.

“First of all, I want to say that this victory, this achievement, goes to the mother one of my best friends who has recently passed away,” she said, according to Fox Sports. “I celebrated the goal with her shirt and from here, I dedicate this to the whole family with all my love.”

Carmona, 23, who plays for Real Madrid, also scored in the semifinals.