When he got here on towards Russia in his aspect’s ultimate workforce fit on the 1994 FIFA Global Cup USA – performed at Stanford Stadium, Palo Alto on Tuesday 28 June – Cameroon’s Roger Milla took only a minute to go into the annals of soccer historical past.
With the Africans trailing 3-Zero at half-time to an Oleg Salenko hat-trick, Cameroon’s French trainer, Henri Michel, determined to carry on his veteran striker, who on the time was the oldest participant ever to participate in a Global Cup fit (a document that has since been overwhelmed, first through Colombia’s Faryd Mondragon at Brazil 2014 after which through Egypt’s Essam El Hadary at Russia 2018).
The evergreen Milla didn’t forestall there, then again. Inside a minute of approaching, he picked the ball up at the fringe of the field, held off the problem of Dmitriy Khlestov and shot house previous Stanislas Cherchesov. It was once a function that gave him some other document – that of the oldest scorer in a Global Cup fit, a difference he nonetheless holds lately. To mark the 24th anniversary of a outstanding fit that resulted in a 6-1 win for the Russians, FIFA.com spoke to the mythical Cameroonian.
FIFA.com: It was once 26 years in the past lately that you just got here on towards Russia and was the oldest participant to attain in a Global Cup fit. How did you’re feeling on the time?
Roger Milla: Very, very happy, as it’s essential see in my birthday celebration, despite the fact that we ended up dropping the fit. I’m nonetheless very happy with it lately. To my thoughts, that function and that document confirmed the individuals who doubted me that I nonetheless had it in me, in spite of my age. Bodily, I wasn’t 100 in keeping with cent, however I nonetheless had my methodology. It’s a gorgeous document.
Is that function the article you’re maximum happy with for your profession?
No, I don’t assume so. It’s a tremendous person success however not anything gave me extra pride than serving to Cameroon succeed in the quarter-finals of the Global Cup in 1990. That was once historical for our nation and our continent.
While you arrived in the US for the Global Cup did you might have the ones data for your thoughts?
I don’t assume in any respect about person performances after I stroll directly to the pitch or even much less so sooner than a contest. The theory of thrashing that document didn’t even go my thoughts. If I rating and we don’t win, I’m each bit as disenchanted as my team-mates. All of us sought after to do even higher than we’d executed in 1990, however sadly, we didn’t arrange it.
The place do you rank your document amongst all of the nice Global Cup data?
Each document has its personal tale in the back of it. I couldn’t put one forward of some other. Each a type of avid gamers has made their mark at the Global Cup in their very own little method. As a goalscorer, I will clearly establish with the data of [Miroslav] Klose and Simply Fontaine however I couldn’t rank them. My document is simply one of the. For me, the one document that actually sticks out is that of ‘O Rei’ Pele along with his 3 Global Cups. Phrases can’t describe what he completed at this type of younger age.
Do you assume your document will likely be overwhelmed sooner or later?
Not anything’s not possible nevertheless it’ll be very tough to overcome. Soccer’s an excessively other recreation lately and it’s actually exhausting to peer any person rather than a keeper getting capped on the age of 42. And, as everyone knows, keepers don’t rating very ceaselessly. I believe my document has were given a couple of just right years left in it but.
Oleg Salenko scored 5 that day, a document he nonetheless holds. Have been you inspired along with his success?
You’ll’t be anything else however inspired with a efficiency like that, particularly in a Global Cup, regardless that I’ve to mention that we had a hand in it. We weren’t just right sufficient in that fit. We each set data that day, which is why we had our picture taken in combination on the finish of the sport. Historical past-makers stand in combination in Stanford
On the time, what stayed with you from that fit: the heavy defeat or your document?
It was once a mixture of feelings as a result of we were given knocked out and we have been so disenchanted we hadn’t lived as much as the expectancies other people had people. I additionally knew that I’d performed my closing fit on the Global Cup and that I used to be announcing good-bye to the contest. So I simply attempted to place it into point of view and profit from each second. On the time, I didn’t assume so much concerning the document for the reason that function had little affect at the recreation. However because the years have long gone through it’s taken on its complete that means and I’m very happy with it.
What about now? Do you continue to really feel the similar about it?
Once I glance again I check out to concentrate on the certain, which is the document. I’ve nonetheless were given a couple of regrets as it was once my closing Global Cup and I might have appreciated to have long gone additional and finish on a greater observe.
Let’s return 4 years previous, to Italy 1990, when Cameroon was the primary African crew to succeed in the Global Cup quarter-finals. Are you able to take into accout the way you felt on the time?
You couldn’t describe it. There was once numerous pleasure clearly. We have been so satisfied and it gave us an actual self assurance spice up. We’d have liked to have long gone additional as a result of we actually had what it took to do extra. I don’t need to get right into a debate concerning the England fit, but if I glance again on it now there are a couple of regrets. I’m satisfied we can have long gone all of the method. We have been welcomed as heroes once we returned to Cameroon and that was once while you realise that you just’ve completed one thing huge.
You opened the best way for different groups from Africa however thus far simplest Senegal in 2002 and Ghana in 2010 have matched your success. What does African soccer wish to do to make the closing 4?
Senegal and Ghana confirmed that it was once conceivable. We’re nonetheless a way in the back of Eu soccer so it’s going to be tough to get there, however I’m nonetheless constructive. I am getting the sensation that the present era of avid gamers from time to time lack self assurance and resolution, like us on the time. We need to consider in ourselves if we need to installed the ones varieties of performances at each Global Cup.
Cameroon have had Roger Milla after which Samuel Eto’o. Who will paved the way for the Indomitable Lions within the future years?
I’ve were given no concept. There’s no longer actually any person who sticks out these days. It’s possibly higher that method as it offers us the danger to actually center of attention at the crew. I don’t see any person round presently with my qualities. Samuel Eto’o did some good stuff too. We’re distinctive avid gamers and there’s no person like us. All we will be able to do is look forward to Cameroon to polish sooner or later.
Are you able to see Cameroon qualifying for the Global Cup quarter-finals as soon as once more and in all probability going even additional?
I’m hoping they do however I comprehend it’s going to be difficult. It’s performances like that, regardless that, that may encourage long term generations. If it’s going to occur, then we’d like Africa’s big-name avid gamers to step up once they play for his or her nationwide groups, which isn’t all the time the case.
Because of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Riyad Mahrez, Africa is enjoying a starring position within the soccer international lately. Do you assume the continent has stuck up with Europe and South The usa?
When it comes to person ability, the distance between African avid gamers and avid gamers from Europe and South The usa is final at all times. I believe it’s on a crew degree that we need to stay on growing and it’s avid gamers like Mane and Salah who can carry their experience to endure in that admire. They play for giant golf equipment they usually know the way to carry a crew in combination in pursuit of a shared function. In a couple of years there received’t be any distinction between us and them. Finding out from our errors and dealing in combination are two issues that can lend a hand us to move even additional.