Spain's World Cup hero Olga Carmona finds out her father died before the final

Spain’s World Cup hero Olga Carmona has been left devastated following her goal in Sunday’s final against England after being informed that her father had passed away.

The left-back’s fine first-half strike proved decisive in the 1-0 win in Sydney and after netting she lifted up her shift to reveal the word ‘Merchi’ – a tribute to the mother of a friend who had passed away just days earlier.

At the time, Carmona was entirely unaware that her own father had also died prior to the match kicking off, with her family choosing not to inform her before the clash with England.

The Spanish Football Federation have now confirmed the sad news, with a statement on Sunday night reading: ‘The RFEF deeply regrets to report the death of Olga Carmona’s father. The player 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. We love you, Olga, you are the history of Spanish football.’

Carmona joined in with Spain’s celebrations unaware of what had happened, even sharing a kickabout with a young relative on the pitch, before later being informed of her father’s death.

Explaining her heartfelt celebration, Carmona had told Spanish TV: ‘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.

‘I celebrated the goal with her shirt and from here, I dedicate this to the whole family with all my love.’

As well as scoring in the final against England, the left-back had also netted with an equally fine strike against Sweden in the semi-final – becoming the second youngest player to net in both rounds since USA’s Alex Morgan.

The Spain squad are leaving Australia immediately and will fly to Madrid for a trophy celebration and parade in the capital, having become only the second team after Germany to win both the men’s and women’s World Cups, though it remains to be seen if Carmona will join them.

More to follow…

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