When Ivory Coast player Serey Die walked onto the World Cup pitch at Estadio Nacional in Brasillia, Brazil on Thursday, he was overcome with emotion.
As cameras focused in during the country's national anthem, they captured a touching moment of the 29 year old crying before his team's Group C match against Colombia.
Internet rumours quickly swirled that the midfielder’s father died hours before the game. However, the social media chatter quickly proved to be a hoax. Die addressed the gossip and clarified his dad passed away a decade ago.
“My life has always been difficult,” he said. “It’s true, I thought about my father who died in 2004. I also thought about my tough life – I didn’t think that one day I would be here, playing.”
“I fought (against the tears) but I couldn't.”
Ivory Coast lost the game to Colombia, 2-1.
Die later apologized to soccer fans with an Instagram post of his green jersey, saying his pride as an Ivorian and the honour of playing for his country was what moved him to tears.
With files from the Associated Press