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Albert Roger Milla


A Cameroonian former football forward, he was one of the first African players to be a major star on the international stage

More by user: lremy
Created: 18th Apr 2008
Modified: 22nd Apr 2008
Professional Information
Professional Areas:
Cameroon National Team, World Cup, FIFA
Working primarily in:

Description of Work:

Early Start

Born in the Cameroonian capital of Yaoundé, he moved constantly as a child because of his father's railroad job. With an early start to footlball, 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 1976, by which time he had moved to Tonnerre Yaoundé, he 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.

Europe Bound

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.

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 has ever advanced at the World Cup (Senegal matched this feat in 2002). In the quarter-final match against England, Milla confirmed his super-sub legend, entering in the second half with Cameroon trailing 1-0 and setting up a brilliant goal and drawing a penalty shot to give Cameroon the lead before eventually losing.

Only the extraordinary

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, breaking his own record as the oldest goalscorer in a World Cup tournament.

Biographical Information
Albert Roger Milla
(At a Glance)
Gender: male
Interests: 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.
Place of Origin: Cameroon

Born Albert Roger Miller, May 20, 1952 is a Cameroonian former football forward. 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 footballers have retired, by scoring four goals at the 1990 World Cup and helping the Cameroon team reach quarterfinals. He was named one of the 125 greatest living football players in 2004 by the legendary Brazilian football player Pelé.

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