The Cameroon national team is preparing to participate in the 1990 World Cup in Italy, and legend Roger Milla will not go with the Lions to play the World Cup, as he is excluded and will not join the Lions list.
The Cameroon national team is preparing for the World Cup, and preparations are continuing there on the western coast of the African continent facing the Atlantic Ocean.
On the other hand, on the eastern coast of the continent, and after a long distance, Roger Milla settled in one of the teams of Reunion, which lies between the islands of Mauritius and Madagascar.
Mila is 38 years old, and he settled in the league there in this country because he does not suffer from any pressure in it, and the level is modest, which is appropriate for his age and physical fitness.
At the same time, living there gives him the opportunity to relax on the shores of the Indian Ocean, as well as play tennis with some of the older men.
The scene there is wonderful and the sun is shining. Roger Milla wears his hat and sits in front of the beach, drinks cold drinks and enjoys nature.
For him, it’s more like a vacation than joining one of the teams there.
To end my football career in this way was perfect.. Roger Milla
Although Reunion Island is thousands of kilometers away from the continent of Europe, it belongs to the European Union because it is a French colony and is considered an official part of France.
Roger Milla announced his retirement from international football with the Cameroon national team two years ago.
However, Milla was summoned by the President of Cameroon to participate with the national team in the 1990 World Cup.
Roger Milla.. the legend of Cameroon and African football, was born in 1952 and due to a mistake in writing his name in the official papers, his official name became Roger Miller.
How Milla will participate in the World Cup at the age of 38, it is not as he knows now.
At the time, 38 was considered old age for any athlete.
Many players did not reach this age while they were on the football fields, and with the passage of time and the development of training, preparation and food systems, many players became able to play until the close of their forties.
In Cameroon, things were burning, and the football street was going through a state of intense anger. The team was bad and did not gain the public’s satisfaction after being eliminated from the group stage of the 1990 African Cup of Nations, although Cameroon at the time was the defending champion in 1988.
Everyone was saying, “Do you remember when we had Mela, the team was really good?”
Before the end of 1989, Milla returned to Cameroon, specifically to the city of Douala, to play an exhibition match, and Milla presented a great level, scoring two goals, and everyone was in a state of enjoyment watching him.
Voices rose in the Cameroonian street for Mila’s return to the national team in the World Cup, but no one in the national team wants his return, whether the players or the coach, given that he always wants to be the best player in the team.
Therefore, Roger Milla preferred to play on Reunion Island to be the star of his team and the best player, and the first and last word is always his.
Mila was also known to be impatient with his teammates, which made them call him “Gaddafi” in relation to Muammar Gaddafi, the former President of Libya, given that he was dealing in the team as if he was a dictator.
A presidential decision returns Mila to the national team
The moment came when Mila’s peaceful island life was cut short on the shore of the Pacific Ocean for him to return to the Cameroon national team.
The President of Cameroon, Paul Biya, who, by the way, is the President of Cameroon until this time, issued an official decision to call Roger Milla to the list of the national team that will participate in the World Cup and signed the decree obliging the coach to include him.
Cameroon went to the 1990 World Cup, and at that time the biggest achievement for African teams in the World Cup was Algeria’s qualification for the round of 16 in 1986.
Many of Mila’s teammates see him as old, slow, tired, heavy, and lack the physical fitness to help him play.
Cameroon kicked off their World Cup matches against Argentina, the reigning World Cup champions led by legend Maradona.
Before the match, European journalists asked many racist questions to Cameroon players. Do you really eat monkeys? Did you take a magician with the team?
Cameroon entered the match and managed to beat Argentina with a goal without a response, in a resounding surprise in the World Cup.
Roger Milla participated in the last 10 minutes of the match and appeared well.
The Mela Dance That Changed the World Cup
Cameroon’s second match in the groups was against Romania, the result was a goalless tie. The coach pushed Roger Milla in the 58th minute. He will play for more than half an hour during the match.
There are 12 minutes left and the goalless tie still prevails, a long ball sent from the Cameroon defense towards the Romania penalty area.
The ball reached Mila, he received the ball, passed the defender and shot hard.
Roger Milla scores the first goal for Cameroon in the 76th minute, and runs towards the corner flag to dance his famous dance.
The stadium rose up, and the dance captured everyone’s hearts, and it became the most famous shot in the World Cup.
After 10 minutes, Mila jumped and received a ball from the Romanian defender and hit with the left foot.
And the second goal for Cameroon, and now we all know that Milla once again ran towards the corner flag to dance his dance, which is considered one of the most famous dances in the history of football.
Cameroon eventually won 2-1 to secure qualification to the Round of 16.
Some say that this dance is from the folklore in Cameroon, but Mila confirmed that he invented it to celebrate the goals.
Cameroon played the last match in the group against the Soviet Union and lost it by four without a response, and Milla participated in the middle of the first half after an injury to one of the players.
In the end, the Indomitable Lions qualified for the round of 16 against Colombia.
I’m smarter than you, Hijita
The 54th minute, Roger Milla enters the match, and the result indicates a goalless draw, with which the regular time ended, and the confrontation went to extra time.
Milla received the ball, passed one of the defenders, and became in the face of the famous goalkeeper, Rene Higuita, and put the ball with his left foot into the net in the 106th minute.
And we all know Mila will run to the corner flag to do his dance.
Then came the most prominent shot of Roger Milla in the 1990 World Cup, two minutes after the first goal.
Goalkeeper Higuita, who was behaving in a strange way in the matches and in a showy manner, went out with the ball to the middle of the field to start the attack.
But old Roger Milla knows Higuita well. How is that?
Roger Milla played with Carlos Valderrama, captain of Colombia and famous midfielder with thick hair, at French club Montpellier.
Valderrama was always talking to Roger Milla about goalkeeper Higuita, his colleague in the national team, and how he plays recklessly and with great confidence.
So Roger Milla was very ready to face Higuita.
Indeed, Higuita went out with the ball to the middle of the field, and there was nothing behind him but the empty net.
Higuita tried to dodge Milla, but the Cameroonian legend cut him off the ball, drove towards the goal and hit the net, scoring his second goal in the match and fourth in the World Cup.
To lead Cameroon to a historic achievement by being the first African team to qualify for the quarter-finals of the World Cup.
The oldest scorer in the World Cup
And he becomes the oldest scoring player in the history of the World Cup at the age of 38.
Cameroon played against England and fell behind with a goal without a response.
Roger Milla participated in the second half, as usual, and managed to pass the England defender, who had to block him, and Cameroon won a penalty kick.
Emmanuel Conde scored Cameroon’s equalizer from the penalty spot, then Eugene Ikeke added the second goal for the Lions.
But Gary Lineker won a penalty before the end of the match and scored the equalizer, and in extra time he won another penalty and scored the winning goal for England.
Cameroon’s career ended in the 1990 World Cup, achieving the greatest achievement of African football in the history of the World Cup until then.
Before this achievement was repeated by Senegal in 2002 and Ghana in 2010.
Milla breaks his own record
Here everyone thought that Roger Milla’s football career ended, but it lasted much longer than he intended to do on the football fields.
Milla went with Cameroon to participate in the 1994 World Cup in the United States at the age of 42.
Milla did not participate in the first match against Sweden, and participated for several minutes in the second match against Brazil.
Milla entered at the beginning of the second half against Russia when Cameroon was trailing by three goals without a response.
In his first minute, the ball reached Milla inside the penalty area between the Russian defenders, before he shot and scored Cameroon’s only goal in the match.
Once again, Roger Milla became the oldest scoring player in the history of the World Cup at the age of 42, breaking his previous record.
Until now, more than 20 years later, no player has broken Roger Milla’s World Cup record.