Milla promises to return to ‘magnifique’ Expo 2020 Dubai for Cameroon Day in March
DUBAI, 4th November 2021 (WAM) – Cameroon football Roger Milla was thrilled after visiting the “magnifique” Expo 2020 Dubai and he is looking forward to returning in four months for the Cameroon Day at the Expo 2020 on March 12.
One of the first truly global football star from Africa, Milla visited the Cameron Pavilion and the African Union Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai and was left in awe.
“What I saw was really amazing, truly magnifique,” said Milla during his visit to Dubai Sports Council on Thursday, where he was received by His Saeed Hareb, Secretary General of Dubai Sports Council in the presence of Nasser Aman Al Rahma, Assistant Secretary General of DSC.
“In fact, not just the Expo 2020 – everything here in Dubai is amazing and I am going to come back in four months for the Cameroon Day at Expo 2020 Dubai,” added Milla, who is an ambassador for African causes now following his retirement from football in 1994 at the age of 42.
He made his international debut in 1973 and was capped 77 times, scoring 43 goals.
Welcoming the Cameroon legend to the Council, Saeed Hareb talked about the work and different initiatives of the Council, as well as the annual sports calendar, which includes more than 400 events.
He also stressed on the generous support of the country’s wise leadership for sports, and the leading role they have played in spreading the culture sports and physical activity among the community through initiatives like the ongoing Dubai Fitness Challenge.
Saeed Hareb also gifted him a copy of “My Story” – the anecdotal memoir of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Milla, in turn, presented two autographed Cameroon jerseys – one for H.
Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Sports Council, and the other for the Council.
“I am really grateful to Dubai Sports Council for their warm reception and hospitality,” said Milla, who was a member of the Cameron national team at three FIFA World Cup – 1982, 1990 and 1994 – returning to the national team after announcing his international retirement in 1988 following a phone call and a plea from the President of Cameroon Paul Biya.
“I admire the leadership of Dubai for the amazing city they have created here, and I also admire Dubai Sports Council for all the work they are doing to promote at both the local and international stage.
I think they have a great setup here and I believe every country should have Councils like Dubai Sports Council to promote sport in different regions.
Milla became a global football icon at the 1990 FIFA World Cup, at the age of 38, when he scored four goals to help Cameroon become the first African team to reach the World Cup quarterfinals.
Four years later, at the age of 42, Milla broke his own record as the oldest goal-scorer in World Cup by finding the net against Russia in the 1994 FIFA World Cup.
Now aged 69, Milla is hoping his “very talented” 14-year-old son, who has just enrolled at a football academy in Dubai, can reach the peaks as well.
“My son Jaime is a very talented football player,” said Milla.
“A few months ago, I met Michel Salgado [the former Spain and Real Madrid star] in Morocco and he told me about his academy here in Dubai, Fursan Hispania, and his project, and urged me to send his son here.
“My elder brother lives here in Dubai, so I thought it was a good idea and two months ago, my son enrolled at Salgado’s academy.