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ROGER MILLA AND
THE INDOMITABLE LIONS

Roger Milla Roger Milla

If there is a list of Africa's greatest soccer players, the name Roger Milla would definitely be somewhere around the top. Though he has had a long and successful professional soccer career, most people came to know him after his unbelievable performance at the 1990 Italy World Cup. He not only inspired the Indomitable Lions to an entertaining performance, but also won the hearts of soccer fans worlwide with his trademark African-dance celebration after scoring a goal. In fact he brought in a new era into the world cup, making it not only a sporting event, but a cultural festival, with every country trying to celebrate its goals in a unique way. His mark on the World Cup will live forever, and Africans will never forget the remarkable service he did to the continent. He came to Italia '90 at 38 years old, an advanced age in the soccer world, but still managed to carry the Cameroonian side, coming in as a substitute in the second-half and scoring four goals as they became the first African side to reach a World Cup quarter-final.

The Cameroonians upset tournament favourites Argentina(featuring Superstar Diego Maradona) 0-1, beat Romania 2-1, surprisingly lost 0-4 to lowly Russia, then beat Colombia 2-1 in the second Round and finally bowed out in the quarter-final after losing 2-3 to England in a very controversial match. Milla scored both the 2 goals in Cameroon's win over Romania, then repeated his performance in their 2-1 win against Colombia, giving him 4 goals in Italia'90. He also orchestrated both the Cameroonians goals during their 2-3 loss to England at the quater finals. Milla at 42, featured yet again in the USA'94 World Cup and scored a goal against Russia to become the oldest player ever to score in a World Cup. Cameroon however were a faint shadow of their 1990 team.

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 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.

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