Spain began its Women’s World Cup title celebrations at home with Olga Carmona joining her teammates despite her father’s death before the final.
The team arrived in Madrid from Australia on Monday, a day after defeating England 1-0 in Sydney to win the Women’s World Cup for the first time.
Carmona, who scored the winning goal in the first half, participated in the evening’s celebrations with fans despite being told after the final that her father died following an illness. Her family decided to wait until the match was over to inform Carmona.
“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,” she wrote on social media.
Carmona and her teammates would then parade on an open bus past some of Madrid’s most iconic sites before reaching the celebration spot set up by the Spanish Football Federation and local officials at the Madrid Rio Park.
Several thousand people were waiting to greet the team after its historic triumph in Australia. A DJ, big screen and other attractions were entertaining fans as they waited for the players.
During the charter flight to Madrid, players celebrated and chanted together with the World Cup trophy. Captain Ivana Andres gave a speech on the passenger address system. The flight also included federation officials, sponsors, and journalists.
A Spain flag was waved outside a plane window at Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas. A couple of flight attendants came out of the front door carrying a flag, and then Andres, coach Jorge Vilda and federation president Luis Rubiales came out offering the trophy.
With Carmona smiling throughout, the group came off the plane and posed for a photo with the trophy and their winners’ medals.
Carmona’s father was ill and passed away while Carmona’s mother and other relatives travelled to Australia to watch her in the final.
The 23-year-old Real Madrid player was named the final’s most valuable player and became the first player since American Carli Lloyd in 2015 to score in a World Cup semifinal and final.
Carmona earlier thanked everyone for the outpouring of support she received after the federation released the news about her father.
“I have no words to thank you all for your love,” she said.
Carmona’s Spain teammate, Irene Paredes, lost her father a few days before they began their preparations for the World Cup. The defender dedicated the title to him on Sunday.
Spain hadn’t celebrated a soccer world title since the men’s team won its lone World Cup trophy in 2010 in South Africa. Only Germany has won the women’s and men’s World Cups.