Spain's Women's World Cup-winning captain Olga Carmona, whose goal decided Sunday night's final against England in Sydney, learned of her father's death after the final whistle. News of her devastating family tragedy came after Carmona fired in a superb first half strike that proved the match-winner in a pulsating World Cup final against England.
Spain's captain celebrated and danced on the field after the final whistle, and showed no indications she'd been informed about her father's death before the trophy presentation. The Spanish football federation announced the news late on Sunday in Madrid but did not say when Carmona's father died or give a cause of death.
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"We love you, Olga," the federation said on social media. "You are part of the history of Spanish soccer." Others around the football world offered their condolences to Spain's captain for her tragic loss.
The Spanish football federation announce Olga Carmona learned of the passing of her father after La Roja's FIFA Women's World Cup™ win.
Carmona scored the winning goal and dedicated it to her friend's late mother.
'We love you, Olga, you are the history of Spanish football',… pic.twitter.com/h26nZ1h1c6
— Optus Sport (@OptusSport) August 20, 2023
Olga Carmona’s father passed away before the World Cup final today. Olga received the news after the match.
Our deepest condolences to Olga and her family. 🤍🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/pV01e4Inns
— Madrid Xtra (@MadridXtra) August 20, 2023
The Royal Spanish Football Federation announced that Olga Carmona's father has died.
Carmona was the only goalscorer in Spain's first-ever Women's World Cup Final win.
For more ➡️ https://t.co/7qtv8etykM pic.twitter.com/qHjmgMoxIK
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) August 20, 2023
Olga Carmona’s father has unfortunately died just hours after the World Cup final. A winning goal in the WC final and then such a tragic news💔🕊️
May his soul rest in peace. Stay strong Queen❤️ pic.twitter.com/mY7u2QQzYz
— Berneese (@the_berneese_) August 20, 2023
The RFEF learn the death of Olga Carmona’s father.
Absolutely horrible news. pic.twitter.com/DU5dD6wJ2E
— SHE scores bangers (@SHEscoresbanger) August 20, 2023
Extremely sad news shared by 🇪🇸 FA: Olga Carmona's father has passed away, with the 23-year-old finding out after the match.
To learn this after scoring the World Cup winner, dedicated to your best friend's late mother? Can't fathom what you must be feeling, Olga. Courage. 💔💔 pic.twitter.com/gbgKXNFaqv
— Men in Blazers (@MenInBlazers) August 20, 2023
Olga Carmona clinches special piece of history
Carmona scored with an arrowed left-footed strike into the bottom corner of England's goal, leaving the tournament's golden glove winner Mary Earps with no chance. Carmona's strike proved the difference in an end-to-end match that offered plenty of chances for both teams, with Earps keeping England in the contest after saving a second half penalty from Jenni Hermoso.
The heroics from Earps ultimately proved in vain and her teammates were unable to crack the Spanish defence. Spain's win sees them clinch a special place in history by joining Germany as the only nations to have won both the women's and men's FIFA World Cups.
Spain's skipper also scored a late winner in their 2-1 win against Sweden in the semi-finals, 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 celebrated her goal by lifting her jersey to reveal a message on her shirt underneath, which turned out to be a tribute to a friend who had recently lost her mother. "First of all I want to say that this victory, this achievement, goes to the mother of one of my friends who has recently passed away," she said after Sunday's final.
"I celebrated the goal with her shirt and from here dedicate it to the whole family with all my love." All of us, we felt that this team had something special," the Real Madrid defender added. Before the news of the death of Carmona's father was made public, Spain's football federation said title celebrations were set to take place after the squad's arrival home in Madrid on Monday night.
England manager loses back-to-back finals
Spain's victory was another brutal blow for England manager Sarina Wiegman, who has now tasted defeat in consecutive Women's World Cup finals. Weigman also lost the decider while coaching her native Netherlands against the USA in 2019 and is the only manager to lose two Women's World Cup finals.
"We gave our everything, we did everything we could," she said after the match. "We tried different tactics but I have to give credit to Spain. I think that Spain was the team throughout the tournament that played the best football.
"I'm just hurt about this moment. Losing a game and in a final, when you're in a final you want to win it. I guess you mean because it's a second final, I don't see it (like that), this was a different game, a different team.
"I was totally convinced before the game that it would be a very tight game but we were confident that we were able to win it. I hope in the future I get a new moment with the team I work with, that would be amazing, because it's very special to play finals."
Spain's coach Jorge Vilda would no doubt be feeling somewhat vindicated, with his side's triumph coming after 15 players walked away from the national team, citing concerns over under-investment and Vilda's allegedly authoritarian approach to management. Only three of those players returned.
Spain's football federation posted a photo of Vilda kissing the trophy with the caption "VILDA IN". He later told Spanish media: "I am proud of this team, very happy for all the people who are following us, that we have made them happy. We have shown that we know how to suffer, this team has believed and we are world champions."
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