Roger Milla

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Roger Milla
Milla2008cropped.jpg
Milla in 2008
Personal information
Full name Albert Roger Mooh Miller
Date of birth (1952-05-20) 20 May 1952 (age 61)
Place of birth Yaoundé, Cameroon
Height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Playing position Striker
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1965–1970 Eclair 57 (6)
1971–1974 Léopards Douala 117 (89)
1974–1977 Tonnerre 87 (69)
1977–1979 Valenciennes 28 (6)
1979–1980 Monaco 17 (2)
1980–1984 Bastia 113 (35)
1984–1986 Saint-Étienne 59 (31)
1986–1989 Montpellier 95 (37)
1989–1990 Saint-Pierroise
1990–1994 Tonnerre 116 (89)
1994–1995 Pelita Jaya 23 (23)
1995–1996 Putra Samarinda ?? (18)
1996–1999 Tonnerre ?? (?)
Total 712 (405)
National team
1973–1994 Cameroon 102 (28)
Teams managed
2001–2007 Montpellier (Coach Staff)
2007–2011 Tonnerre
2011-2012 Tonnerre (Director of football)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Roger Miller (born Albert Roger Mooh Miller, 20 May 1952) 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.[1]

Club career[edit]

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.

National team[edit]

While playing in France, he made his first appearance for the Cameroon national team (in 1978). 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[edit]

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.[2]

1994 World Cup[edit]

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.

Post-playing career[edit]

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.

Career statistics[edit]

Club performance League Cup Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Cameroon League Cameroon Cup Total
1968–69 Eclair de Douala 28 1
1969–70 29 5
1970–71 Léopard de Douala 29 25
1971–72 30 20
1972–73 28 19
1973–74 30 25
1974–75 Tonnerre Yaoundé 29 23
1975–76 28 26
1976–77 30 20
France League Coupe de France Total
1977–78 Valenciennes Division 1 0 0
1978–79 28 6
1979–80 Monaco Division 1 17 2
1980–81 Bastia Division 1 30 9
1981–82 23 8
1982–83 29 13
1983–84 31 5
1984–85 Saint-Étienne Division 2 31 22
1985–86 28 9
1986–87 Montpellier Division 2 33 18
1987–88 Division 1 33 12
1988–89 29 7
Réunion League Cup Total
1989 Saint-Pierroise
1990
Cameroon League Cameroon Cup Total
1990–91 Tonnerre Yaoundé 29 22
1991–92 30 19
1992–93 27 23
1993–94 30 25
Indonesia League Piala Indonesia Total
1994–95 Pelita Jaya Premier Division 23 23
1995–96 Putra Samarinda Premier Division ? 18
Total Cameroon 377 253
France 312 111
Réunion
Indonesia 23+ 41
Career total 712+ 405

Honours[edit]

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.

References[edit]

External links[edit]