The "Indomitable Lion" at the Olympic Museum
In the framework of its exhibition 100 Years of Planet Football – FIFA 1904-2004, the Olympic Museum was taken over yesterday by some 200 young footballers who had come to have their photo taken with the FIFA World Cup and to attend a conference on The Football Experience that had been organised for them. Cameroon’s Roger Milla, the guest of honour, talked about his early days in his native Africa.
Barefoot in the dust
“With my school friends, we played barefoot in the dust. Our ball was a tin can, or sometimes an orange.” Milla added “Talent is not enough. You also need perseverance, passion, respect and humility.”
An unusual route
Roger Milla’s route was unusual to say the least. At the age of 38, having already retired after an honourable career in France, he found himself in Cameroon’s national team. This same team took part in the 1990 World Cup in Italy. And the “Indomitable Lion” won the day in the quarter-final, scoring two unforgettable goals against Colombia in extra time.
Today, with his typical charisma, Roger Milla is a travelling ambassador for his country and for Africa, notably in the fight against AIDS. We remember Pelé's recent visit to the Olympic Museum for the preview of the FIFA exhibition. But Milla, too, is one of the greats!
The evening saw the kick-off of Agora, a new cycle of four major annual conferences, orchestrated in partnership with Jean-Philippe Rapp, a former presenter on the Télévision Suisse Romande. This first Agora was called Comment rêver foot après ça? [What next for football?].
A hot topic
After Geneva’s Servette FC bankruptcy, Jean-Philippe Rapp seized the opportunity to gather together all the managers, trainers, directors, players and journalists to try to find an answer to the prickly question of whether the French-speaking part of Switzerland would continue to be represented at high-level in football. And what example to give young people who love football and who maybe dream of becoming professionals one day?