Roger Milla, the retired footballer who made history in the World Cups

Roger Milla, the retired footballer who made history in the World Cups
Roger Milla and his classic dance to celebrate goals (The king sport)

Last update October 4, 2023 by colgadosporelfutbol

History world Cup It is full of anecdotes and curiosities. Of course, we also found footballers who engraved his name with gold letters in this competition. One of them is Roger Milla, which we will talk about in this article.

Roger Milla, history of Cameroon football and the World Cups

Roger Milla would start his professional career in Cameroon, his native country, in 1970. It wouldn't be until seven years later, and after playing in the highest category of Cameroonian football 204 games in which he scored 180 goals, that would make the leap to Europe from the Valenciennes French.

His beginnings in France were complicated. He could only play in two seasons 28 parties with Valenciennes and then others 17 with the Monaco until your arrival at Bastia in 1980. There he could add 113 official matches in four seasons, what helped him to play his first World Cup in Spain in the year 1982. Cameroon tied to 0 the first two encounters, against Peru and Poland, and one in the last against Italy, reason why they fell eliminated in Group Stage.

The African striker would continue in 1984 his already fruitful experience in France. He joined Saint Etienne where he scored 30 goals in 59 parties and, later, for him Montpellier, where he added others 37 many in 95 participations. further, in 1988, Roger Milla he becomes an idol of his country winning the African Nations Cup disputed in Morocco, event that he would take advantage of to end his career with 36 years.

From retirement to glory in Italy 90

The wonderful thing about all this comes in 1990. The footballer had been enjoying his well-deserved retirement at his Reunion Island residence for two years, when he got the call from the Federation of Cameroon to ask you to participate neither more nor less, that in the World Cup of that same year.

With 38 years and 2 years retired, the Cameroonian attacker accepts the challenge and has to carry out a preparation 15 days on your own. Cameroon's first meeting in that edition was, no more no less, that before the current champion: the Argentina of Diego Armando Maradona. In case something was missing to make the story even more cinematic, the Africans achieved victory by 1-0. Our protagonist entered the second part but could not score.

Magic would come in the next engagement, against Romania. Roger Milla jumped onto the field in the minute 58, with a tie on the scoreboard, scoring the goal that gave victory to Cameroon. The African team achieved the classification, also, as first in your group.

Already in the Round of 16, Cameroon you looked at the faces with the other great feeling of the tournament, Colombia. There Roger entered the field already in overtime and achieved another historic feat. He scored two goals that caused an African team to go to the Quarter Finals for the first time in history.

Roger Milla Colombia
The Cameroonian striker took advantage of a mistake by Higuita to give the pass to his team in Italy ’90 (football24)

England was the next rival. Cameroon fell defeated, although with great honor, with a final result of 3-2. Milla caused the penalty of the first goal and gave the assistance of the second.

The legend continued in the USA World Cup 94 with new records

And Roger Milla was retired in 1990 when they called him to participate in the World Italy, you can imagine his surprise when, again, his phone rang four years later before the World US celebrated on 1994. Again, I accept the challenge.

Although his presence was rather representative, the footballer took advantage of this new opportunity to continue making history. Not only became the first African player to play three World Cups, but also had time to score a goal again. A) Yes, with 42 years, became the oldest player in scoring a goal in a World Cup the same day as the Russian oleg Salenko marked 5 goals in the same match, another record.

Cameroon Russia 1994
The goal with which Roger Milla made history in the USA '94 (As Mexico)

So that, despite being retired from football, Roger Milla was able to engrave his name in gold letters in the history of the World Cups.

Christian Fuentes

Sports journalist. I write about yesterday's football so that tomorrow it won't be forgotten. Can you follow me on twitter: @cfamaral

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