Roger Milla was one of the first African players to be a major star on the international stage.
58 Facts About Roger Milla
Roger Milla played in three World Cups for the Cameroon national team.
Roger Milla achieved international stardom at 38 years old, an age at which most forwards have retired, by scoring four goals at the 1990 FIFA World Cup and thus becoming the oldest goalscorer in World Cup history.
Roger Milla helped Cameroon become the first African team to reach the World Cup quarter-finals.
Four years later, at the age of 42, Milla broke his own record as the oldest goalscorer in World Cup by scoring against Russia in the 1994 FIFA World Cup.
Roger Milla frequently celebrated goals by running to the corner flag and performing a dance similar to the lambada.
Roger Milla's parents wanted to give him the surname of his uncle 'Milla' by the time he was born.
Roger Milla was often referred to as Miller whenever he featured in high-profile international matches with World Cup statistical sheets referring to him as Miller speaks volume of how far his name had been mispronounced and wrongly heard in international community.
Roger Milla's family moved to Douala when he was 11.
Roger Milla's father worked on the railroads and Milla had the fortune of travelling all over the nation on many occasions in his childhood.
Roger Milla was raised up in the streets of Yaounde and he hailed from a typical middle-class family so that his parents were able to provide him a satisfactory education.
However, his parents were unhappy when they noticed that Roger Milla was going after football and they were initially reluctant to accept their son playing the sport of football.
Roger Milla learnt the art of playing football by playing barefoot with fellow kids on dirt streets and roads and in most of the occasions he played with an orange or a tin can as an alternate option for a ball.
Roger Milla had the habit of kicking lemons and rags tied together into balls.
Roger Milla himself said that he had finished high school but his claim has been refuted by some Cameroonian writers.
Roger Milla has three brothers with different surnames such as Joseph Debouba, Jacques Edjanque and Alexandre Diboussi.
Roger Milla nearly quit the sport after his mother's untimely death at home during the time when he played soccer in a distant arena and due to his wife had become pregnant as the couple were awaiting for their second child.
Roger Milla played for Eclair de Douala's junior team at the age of 13 and engaged exclusively in school tournaments.
Roger Milla later convinced his parents following his impressive performances in age group category matches.
Roger Milla made his debut for Eclair de Douala's senior team in the second division of the Cameroonian championship at the age of 15.
Roger Milla signed up for the top division club Leopard Douala in 1970 at the age of 18 and eventually went onto win three Cameroonian championship titles with the club.
Roger Milla scored a tally of 89 goals in 116 appearances for Leopard Douala during a tenure of four years.
Roger Milla subsequently moved to Tonnerre Yaounde in 1974 four years after the successful stint with Leopard Douala.
Roger Milla won the African Cup Winners' Cup with Tonnerre Yaounde and for Tonnerre Yaounde club he scored 69 goals in 87 games.
Roger Milla moved to France at the age of 25 in 1977 where he spent 12 years of his career playing for various clubs.
Roger Milla had endured multiple injury concerns during his short stay and his team management decided to release him at the end of the season.
Roger Milla scored 42 goals in 133 competitive matches and was instrumental in assisting the club to win the 1981 French Cup.
Roger Milla next moved to Saint-Etienne in 1984 and became a crucial member of the club, which was recovering from the aftermath of a massive bribery scandal in 1982 and the subsequent relegation to Division 2, having had to sell out most of its first-choice players.
Roger Milla overall played 69 matches for the club scoring 36 goals and played a part in helping the club to re-enter the first division.
Roger Milla then starred for Montpellier from 1986 to 1989, where Milla later went on to become a member of the club's coaching staff after retiring from French football.
Roger Milla left French football at the age of 37 in 1989 and moved to Reunion in the Indian Ocean where he played for JS Saint-Pierroise.
Roger Milla closed out his playing days with two clubs in Indonesia after the 1994 World Cup, retiring from the sport at the end of the 1996 season.
Roger Milla was capped 77 times for the national team, scoring 43 goals.
Roger Milla made his first appearance for Cameroon in 1973 versus Zaire in a World Cup qualifier.
Roger Milla made his World Cup debut in what is considered to be the maiden World Cup appearance for Cameroon when they qualified for the 1982 FIFA World Cup after winning both their final round matches against Morocco at the 1982 FIFA World Cup qualification for the African Zone.
Roger Milla played an instrumental role in helping Cameroon to qualify for the 1982 World Cup by top scoring in the 1982 FIFA World Cup qualification for the African Zone competition.
Roger Milla endured mixed emotions at 1982 FIFA World Cup having a goal disallowed against Peru in their first match.
Roger Milla was a key member of the Cameroonian side which emerged as runners-up to Egypt in the final of the 1986 African Cup of Nations and he received the best player award in the tournament for being the top goal scorer with 4.
Roger Milla was named in 1986 African Cup of Nations team of the tournament.
Roger Milla was the joint top goalscorer in the 1988 African Cup of Nations with 2 goals alongside Algeria's Lakhdar Belloumi, Abdoulaye Traore of Ivory Coast and Gamal Abdelhamid of Egypt.
Roger Milla played a vital role in Cameroon's trumph at the 1988 African Cup of Nations and for his noteworthy performances throughout the tournament, he was adjudged as the player of the tournament and was included in the 1988 African Cup of Nations team of the tournament.
In 1988, at the age of 36, Roger Milla celebrated his early retirement from international football with a jubilee in Cameroon.
Roger Milla agreed, and went to Italy with the Indomitable Lions for the 1990 World Cup, where he would cause a sensation.
Interestingly, Roger Milla scored all the four goals in the tournament as a substitute as he started every game of the tournament on the bench.
Roger Milla started in the second half in four out of five World Cup matches with only once he appeared in the first half.
Roger Milla was the oldest outfield player to feature in the 1990 FIFA World Cup and was the second oldest player during the tournament after England's Peter Shilton.
The 38-year-old Roger Milla emerged as one of the tournament's major stars.
Roger Milla scored four goals in Italy, celebrating each one with a dance around the corner flag that has become a popular goal celebration ever since.
Roger Milla returned to the 1994 FIFA World Cup at the age of 42, being the oldest player ever to appear in a World Cup until the 2014 tournament when Colombia's Faryd Mondragon entered in a group stage match versus Japan being 43 years and 3 days old, setting a new record.
Cameroon were knocked out in the group stages; however, Roger Milla scored a goal against Russia, setting a record as the oldest goalscorer in a World Cup tournament, breaking the record he had set in 1990.
Roger Milla is an itinerant ambassador for African causes.
Roger Milla opened two companies for recycling plastic into paving slabs.
Roger Milla went onto serve as the manager of the Tonnerre for a tenure of four years between 2007 and 2011.
Roger Milla was appointed as the honorary president of the Cameroonian Football Federation in March 2008.
On 24 November 2022, he was honoured by the FIFA for his achievements as the FIFA President Gianni Infantino presented him a plaque just prior to the start of the group stage match between Cameroon and Switzerland during the 2022 FIFA World Cup at Al Janoub Stadium and Roger Milla was officially invited as a special guest by FIFA President to watch the match.
Roger Milla's celebrations were deemed as instant hit and triggered positive energy to the viewers during the World Cup.
Roger Milla became the talk of the town and tournament sensation during the 1990 FIFA World Cup mainly for his skill sets on the field, dance celebrations and for his technique.
Roger Milla was later dubbed as "King of the Corner Flag".