Millions around the world saw the victorious photo of Spain’s 29-year-old soccer star, Olga Carmona, celebrating with her jersey in her teeth after she scored the winning (and only!) goal in the World Cup Finals against Australia Sunday. Carmona was dedicating her victory to the mother of her best friend, who had recently passed away. Her name was on the shirt. She also mentioned her friend’s late mom in her post-game interview, explaining why she had shown the words written on her compression top beneath her jersey.
After the game, Olga Carmona explains she lifted her shirt after scoring in honor of the mother of her best friend who recently passed away ❤️ pic.twitter.com/Wm3XQMaAK6
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) August 20, 2023
Unbeknownst to Carmona at the time, however, she had her own loss to deal with—in a strange twist of fate, her father Tomas Carmona Mena had just passed away. The star would not be told until after the match, which is surely the way her family wanted it. The Royal Spanish Federation announced the death just hours after the team’s victory, saying:
“REF deeply regrets to report the death of Olga Carmona’s father. The soccer player learned the sad news after the World Cup final,” the statement said. “We send our most sincere hugs to Olga and her family in a moment of deep pain. We love you, Olga, you are the history of Spanish football.”