Without a doubt, Africa has produced great sportsmen and women. The continent has had sportspeople breaking ground in their different sporting codes worldwide; from the Olympics to football World Cups among other sports.
Today we remember some of the legends that have done the continent proud in global stages.
To start us off this week is Cameroon’s Roger Milla. The International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS) identifies Roger Milla as the second-greatest African player of the last 100 years, only behind Liberia’s george Weah.
He is well remembered for illuminating the 1990 World Cup tournament in Italy, scoring four times and celebrating each time with a dance around the corner flag post, which has become a popular goal celebration ever since.
During that tournament too, he inspired Cameroon into the quarterfinals, which was the first time an African team was playing in the World Cup Quarters.
He remains the oldest player (42) to score at a World Cup, when he scored a goal against Russia in USA in the 1994 WC.
Milla was twice African Footballer of the Year and made the podium a further three times.
Milla was capped 63 times for the national team, scoring 37 goals. He had made his first appearance for Cameroon in 1973 in World Cup qualifier against Zaire, current Democratic Republic of Congo.
His final international appearance came in a friendly against South Africa in December 1994.
Where is he now? He is is father of six? Living in his home city Yaounde, where he is an itinerant ambassador for African causes and aspires to be the president of CAF or even FIFA.
The ‘art of football’ – Showboating
In this episode too, Victor Muisyo talks about showboating. This is essentially showing off. Showboaters in sport always divide opinion. Some see the showboat as an art form, an expression of footballing freedom, humiliating one’s opponent and emphasizing your superiority over them, as The Sporster reports. see showboating as unsportsmanlike, unnecessary and showing a distinct lack of respect for the opposition.
In Africa, it’s commonplace and most times, it’s always an extra piece of entertainment. South Africa’s ABSA Premier League is home to Africa’s greatest showboaters.
FIFA’s rulebook, Laws of the Game under the heading ‘Cautions for unsporting behaviour’ states that “a player must be cautioned if they act in a manner which shows a lack of respect for the game”. And in fact there are cases when players have been booked for giving their fans an interesting bit of showboating.Follow @Muisyo_