Real Madrid star and Spain hero from their 2023 World Cup triumph Olga Carmona was one of the stories of the year, scoring in the semi-finals and the final to secure triumph for La Roja. As they celebrated, news broke that her father had passed away the previous evening, and it was up to her mother to inform her of the news during those celebrations.
One of the hardest emotional challenges to face, Carmona mixed arguably the greatest high in football with one of the most difficult personal tragedies to handle in a matter of hours. Her family had kept the news from her to allow Carmona to focus on the final the next day, and it ended up being at the airport to return to Spain when she found out.
“I found out at the moment at the airport when we were going through passport control. My mother, who was with Jorge (Vilda) and (Luis) Rubiales, called me and gave me the news. As you can imagine, it was a very unpleasant moment. We were all on a high celebrating what we had achieved and it was a bit of a shock for everyone. The trip was hard, it gave me a lot of time to think. I tried to enjoy what was a unique moment and be with my teammates. I felt like it was going to be better for me,” she told Marca.
“I thought that staying at home and missing the celebration at Madrid Río was going to give me more thoughts and I prioritised keeping my head busy and accompanying the team in that celebration. It was a very strange mix of feelings, I don’t know how to explain it in words. I am sure that he, from above, helped me a lot because what happened that day was not normal and he surely gave me that push so that the ball went in.”
Upon arrival back in Madrid, the team were bussed to a park beside Madrid Rio in order to celebrate with thousands of fans gathered before a stage. Carmona attended, and thanked the fans, in what was no doubt a surreal moment.