06/20/2014 12:33 EDT

What Made Ivory Coast's Serey Die Cry Before World Cup Match (VIDEO)

ADRIAN DENNIS via Getty Images
Ivory Coast's midfielder Geoffroy Serey Die cries as he listens to his national anthem before the start of the Group C football match between Colombia and Ivory Coast at the Mane Garrincha National Stadium in Brasilia during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 19, 2014. AFP PHOTO / ADRIAN DENNIS (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)

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

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