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Albert Roger Miller (born 20 May 1952), known as Roger Milla, is a retired Cameroonian professional footballer who played as a forward. He was one of the first African players to be major stars on the international stage. He played in three World Cups for the Cameroon national team.
Milla in 2008
|Full name||Albert Roger Miller|
|Date of birth||20 May 1952|
|Place of birth||Yaoundé, Cameroon|
|Height||1.76 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|1965–1970||Eclair de Douala|
|2001–2007||Montpellier (Coach Staff)|
|2011–2012||Tonnerre (Director of football)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
He achieved international stardom at 38 years old, an age at which most forwards have retired, by scoring four goals at the 1990 FIFA World Cup. He helped Cameroon become the first African team to reach the World Cup quarter-finals. Four years later, at the age of 42, Milla became the oldest goalscorer in World Cup history by scoring against Russia in the 1994 FIFA World Cup.
Milla 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. In 2004 he was named by Pelé in the FIFA 100 list of the world's greatest living players. In 2007, the Confederation of African Football named Milla the best African player of the previous 50 years.
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 Léopard Douala. In 1976, by which time he had moved to Tonnerre Yaoundé, he was named African Footballer of the Year.
Moving to FranceEdit
The next year, he joined Bastia where he scored 35 goals in 113 league appearances for the first team. He next moved to Saint-Etienne in 1984 scoring 31 times in 59 league games. He then starred for Montpellier from 1986 to 1989, where he later went on to become a member of the club's coaching staff after retiring from French football.
After leaving France in 1987 Milla moved to Réunion in the Indian Ocean where he played for JS Saint-Pierroise. He then returned to Tonnerre in Cameroon for four seasons. He closed out his playing days with two clubs in Indonesia from after the 1994 World Cup to 1996.
Milla was capped 63 times for the national team, scoring 37 goals. Milla made his first appearance for Cameroon in 1973 versus Zaire in a World Cup qualifier. 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.
However, in 1990, he received a phone call from the President of Cameroon Paul Biya, who pleaded with him to come out of international retirement and rejoin the national team. He agreed, and went to Italy with the Indomitable Lions for the 1990 World Cup.
1990 World CupEdit
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 flag 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, as did Ghana 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 a 2–1 lead, before England later scored two penalties, to win 3–2 after extra time. Due to his performances in Italy, he was once again named African Footballer of the Year.
1994 World CupEdit
Milla returned to the 1994 FIFA World Cup at the age of 42, being the oldest player ever to appear in a World Cup until the 2014 FIFA World Cup when Colombia's Faryd Mondragón entered in a group stage match versus Japan being 43 years and 3 days old, setting a new record. 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, breaking the record he had set in 1990. His final international appearance came in a friendly against South Africa in December 1994.
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.
|1968–69||Eclair de Douala||28||1|
|France||League||Coupe de France||Total|
|1994–95||Pelita Jaya||Premier Division||23||23|
|1995–96||Putra Samarinda||Premier Division||12||18|
- African Footballer of the Year: 1976, 1990
- Africa Cup of Nations Best Player: 1986
- African Cup of Nations Top Scorer: 1986, 1988
- FIFA World Cup Bronze Boot: 1990
- FIFA World Cup All-Star Team: 1990
- FIFA 100
- CAF Best African Player of the last 50 years: 2007
- Golden Foot Legends Award: 2014
- IFFHS Legends
- "Décret du 14 avril 2006 portant promotion et nomination" [Decree of 14 April 2006 on promotion and appointment]. Journal Officiel de la République Française (in French). 2006 (91): 5760. 16 April 2006. PREX0609207D. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
- "Roger Milla, the pride of the Indomitable Lions". FIFA. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
- Jon Carter (26 May 2010). "First XI: World Cup celebrations". ESPN. Archived from the original on 3 June 2010.
- "Milla is Caf's best from 50 years". BBC Sport. 15 January 2007. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
- "Albert Roger Mooh Miller "Milla" - Goals in International Matches". RSSSF. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
- Men - Longest 'Career' Span RSSSF. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
- on YouTube
- "Milla, Zoff & the oldest players in World Cup history". Goal.com. 15 June 2018. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
- "On this day in world cup history: Russia 6 Cameroon 1, 28 June 1994". Independent. 28 June 2010. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
- "Roger Milla". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
- "World Cup 1990 - Scorers' list". RSSSF. Retrieved 11 March 2016.
- "FIFA World Cup Awards: All-Star Team". Retrieved 22 March 2015.
- "Legends". Golden Foot. Archived from the original on 25 September 2015. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
- "IFFHS announce the 48 football legend players". IFFHS. 25 January 2016. Retrieved 14 September 2016.