LEGENDS - CAMEROON - Roger Milla - one of the first African players to be a major star
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Albert Roger Mooh Miller
Date of birth:
20 May 1952
Place of birth:
5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
• 57x apps / 6x goals
Léopards Douala: 1971-1974
• 117x apps / 89x goals
• 87x apps / 69x goals
• 28x apps / 6x goals
AS Monaco: 1979-1980
• 17x apps / 2x goals
• 113x apps / 35x goals
• 59x apps / 31x goals
• 95x apps / 37x goals
• 116x apps / 89x goals
Pelita Jaya: 1994-1995
• 23x apps / 23x goals
Putra Samarinda: 1995-1996
• ?? apps / 18x goals
• 712x apps / 405x goals
• 102x apps / 28x goals
(Director of football)
In 2006, Milla was chosen for best African player of the last century, ending up ahead of El Khatib and Hassan. The election was held by the CAF, the African football association.
Albert Roger Mooh Miller (born 20 May 1952 in Yaoundé), commonly known as Roger Milla, is a retired Cameroonian footballer who played as a striker. He was one of the first African players to be a major star on the international stage. He played in three World Cups for the Cameroon national team.
He achieved international stardom at 38 years old, an age at which most forward-playing footballers have retired, by scoring four goals at the 1990 World Cup, the most memorable of which came in the match against Colombia when he dispossessed the showboating Colombian goalkeeper René Higuita 35 yards from goal, going on to score in the empty net with Higuita stranded. He helped the Cameroon team reach the quarter-finals.
He is also remembered for his trademark goal celebration of running to the corner flag and performing a dance. In the years that have followed, he has been recognised as a pioneer of the many unconventional and imaginative goal celebrations seen since then. He was named one of the 125 greatest living football players in 2004 by the legendary Brazilian football player Pelé. A veteran blessed with enduring bursts of pace and an unerring eye for goal, Milla took Cameroon into uncharted territory for an African team as they reached the quarter-finals of the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy.
Born in the Cameroonian capital of Yaoundé, he moved constantly as a child because of his father's railroad job. He signed for his first club in Douala as a 13-year-old. At 18, he won his first league championship with another Douala club.
In 1974, by which time he had moved to Tonnerre Yaoundé and was awarded the African Footballer of the Year award.
In 1977, he was lured to Europe by the French club Valenciennes. However, he was kept on the reserves for two years. In 1979, he joined AS Monaco, but shuttled between the reserves' bench and the injury list. The next year, he joined Bastia, but still did not flourish. He finally found stardom at Saint-Etienne in 1984; he then starred for Montpellier from 1986 to 1989, and became a member of the club's coaching staff after retiring from French football.
He made his first appearance for the Cameroon national team in 1973. He was a member of Cameroon's team at the 1982 FIFA World Cup, having a goal disallowed against Peru in their first match. Cameroon went out with three draws from their three first-round games. Two years later, he was part of the squad competing at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California. He first retired from international football in 1987, and eventually moved to Réunion in the Indian Ocean for his retirement.
However, in 1990, he received a phone call from the President of Cameroon Paul Biya, who pleaded with him to come out of retirement and rejoin the national team. He agreed, and went to Italy with the Indomitable Lions for the 1990 World Cup.
1990 World Cup
38-year old Milla emerged as one of the tournament's major stars. He scored four goals in Italy, celebrating each one with a dance around the corner post that has become a popular goal celebration ever since. Two of his goals came against Romania in Cameroon's second game, and two more came in extra time against Colombia in the last 16 to carry Cameroon to the quarter-finals, the furthest an African team had ever advanced at the World Cup (Senegal matched this feat in 2002, and Ghana matched it in 2010).
In the quarter-final match against England, Milla confirmed his super-sub legend by entering in the second half with Cameroon trailing 1:0 and drawing a penalty and then setting up a goal for Ekeke to give Cameroon the lead before eventually losing 3:2.
His second goal celebration against Colombia has been the subject of the 2010 World Cup Coca Cola advertisement.
1994 World Cup
Milla returned to the 1994 FIFA World Cup at the age of 42, being the oldest player ever to appear in a World Cup. Cameroon were knocked out in the group stages; however, Milla scored a goal against Russia, setting a record as the oldest goalscorer in a World Cup tournament; a record he set in the previous World Cup edition.
He is now an itinerant ambassador for African causes. In 2004, he was named to the FIFA 100, a list of the 125 greatest living footballers selected by Pelé in conjunction with FIFA's centenary celebrations. Milla starred in a Coca Cola advertisement for 2010 FIFA World Cup as the originator of dancing whilst celebrating when scoring a goal. He is seen in the crowd drinking Coca cola.