Friday, December 7, 2007

Roger Milla

Roger Milla at 38 was the star of the Cameroon team of 1990, scoring four goals as they became the first African side to reach a World Cup quarter-final. Born at Yaounde the capital of Cameroon, Milla began with Eclair Douala, then played for Leopards of Douala. With his next club, Tonnerre of Yaounde, he won Cameroon league and cup medals.

Africa's Footballer of the year in 1976, he moved to France in 1977 and spent two seasons at Valenciennes before being transferred to Monaco. He had four seasons with Bastia and between 1984 and 1987 was was with St. Etienne before a move to Montpellier. He won the French cup with Monaco in 1980 and with Bastia in 1981 and collected a French Second division championship medal with St. Etienne. After 152 goals in the French league, he retired to the French Reunion Islands to play for Saint Pierre, helping them win the local league title in 1990.

After 81 full caps, Milla was tempted out of retirement for his second World Cup, returning after the coach got the nod of approval from the other players. In five games, all as a "super-sub", Milla scored the two goals which beat Romania and the two that beat Colombia. In the quarter- final against England he was involved in Cameroon's two goals. Milla, who changed his name from Miller to sound more African, is the oldest man to score in the final stages of a World cup. He was 42 when he scored against Russia in the 1994 World Cup.