Brazil III Division

Brazil. A brief look at some teams not present in the top 2 leagues this season:
Auto Esporte
Mogi Mirim

Rio Negro

Volta Redonda
Most – if not all – of those clubs played in Serie C in 1990 and perhaps unsatisfied with the low level put pressure for enlargement of Serie B. But there was 1990 Serie C championship and it was won by
Campinense. A title is a title, going along with promotion up. Effectively, Campinense played by the existent rules and fairly promoted, so may be they were not all that happy to see the second level enlarged and teams which they left behind going up along with them.

Copa Libertadores

Copa Libertadores. The formula: every country participated with 2 teams and in the first phase they were divided in 5 groups of 4 teams. So far, it was like always. But this time 3 teams of each group qualified to the 1/8 finals and the reigning Cup holder joined at this stage making 16 teams. From then on direct elimination to the final. But the tragic event in Colombia leading to cancellation of its 1989 championship – the murder of a referee – and the obvious involvement of drug lords in Colombian football, escalating to threats of international games referees led the CONMEBOL to sanctioning the Colombian clubs: they were banned from home games and had to play them in another country. Logistic problems – real or conveniently invented – led the Colombian participants to withdrawal from the tournament, except Atletico Nacional (Medellin), the reigning Copa Libertadores holder and belonging to the notorious Pablo Escobar. Atletico Medellin participated in the tournament, playing home games in… well, in Medellin at the 1/8 finals, but in Santiago (Chile) after that. However, the withdrawal of the other Colombian clubs left Group 3 with 2 teams (Argentinian Independiente and River Plate, which played as required, but for nothing for both teams qualified to the 1/8 automatically in fact) and 15 teams entering the second phase. Thus, one team was lucky to have a bye in the 1/8 finals.
The group phase was a Brazilian disaster – Vasco da Gama ended 3rd in Group 5 and Gremio – 4th. Uruguayan Progreso and Defensor Sporting finished with 7 points each in Group 4 and goal-difference placed Progreso at the first place, but Group 1 provided extra entertainment: all teams ended with 6 points. Goal-difference could not determine their final positions either, so 1st and 2nd place were determined by most goals scored – thus, Emelec (Ecuador) ended ahead The Strongest (Bolivia) – but the other two teams had exactly the same goal-difference – 6-7 – and play-off was staged between Bolivian Oriente Petrolero and Ecuadorian Barcelona – Barcelona won and took 3rd place. Lucky beginning, but the rest of their campaign was splendid. Surprisingly, they reached the final after eliminating mighty River Plate in penalty shootout in the ½ finals (regular games ended 1-0 and 0-1). At that stage Olimpia (Paraguay) took revenge for their loss at the 1989 to Atletico Nacional – they won in Santiago 2-1, but lost 2-3 at home managed to prevail 2-1 in the penalty shoot-out. Not only the Paraguayans were happy – the elimination of Atletico Nacional canceled the big chance of second consecutive victory of Pablo Escobar and drug money in the very year when CONMEBOL tried – lamely, as it was – to cut of them. So, the big final was Olimpia – Barcelona.

Olimpia hosted the first leg and won it 2-0.

Barcelona tried as much as they could in Guayaquil, but Marcelo Trobbiani’s goal was not enough. Tem minutes before he scored the veteran Paraguayan goalkeeper saved a penalty and in the 80th minute the Paraguayans equalized.
Olimpia won.

Naturally, the joy was endless.
Mixed feelings in Barcelona (Guayaquil) camp – of course, coming to the final only to lose it was no fun. But it was not a tragedy either – not only it was the first time for the club to reach Copa Libertadores final, but it was the biggest success of Ecuadorian football so far. It was grand achievement for club, city and country, something making everybody proud and thus grieve of the loss was replaced with much more positive attitude.

The success was largely due to the excellent coaching of former Argentine star Miguel Angel Brindisi, who took the reigns in 1989, bringing with himself old, but worthy reinforcements – his coutryman midfielder Marcelo Trobbiani (35 old, coming from Chilean Cobreloa) and the 31 years old Uruguayan striker Luis Acosta (from Ecuadorian Filabanco) in 1989 and in 1990 – one more famed Uruguayan: the 31-years old midfielder Mario Saralegui (from Penarol). May be over the hill for bigger clubs, but the vastly experienced trio was instrumental for Barcelona’s success – although no longer called to their national teams, the veterans brought class and inspiration to Barcelona, also helping Brindisi to emply his tactical schemes and demands.

Compared to their rivals, Olimpia (Asuncion) was very different – they were not newcomers on thebig scene at all – it was their 4th Copa Libertadores final and second in a row. Once they won the Cup already – in 1979. Now, 10 years later they secured a second victory. And well deserved it was, for Olimpia was playing fine for quite some time.

The success was largely due to the good work of two club Presidents – during the reign of Osvaldo Dominguez Dibb Olimpia won its first Copa Libertadores Cup and his successor Oscar Carrismo Neto continued in the same direction, successfully building a new team. Given Paraguayan resources, it was not an easy task and for that – a great, even rare, achievement. There was good base, transition was made carefully and level-headed, depending on home-grown talent and healthy atmosphere. Unlike Barcelona – and most South American clubs, indeed – Olimpia had only Paraguayan players in the squad.
A link with the great success of 1979 was maintained by hiring again the mastermind of the former triumph Luis Cubilla – the Uruguayan, now 50 years old, arrived for his second spell with Olimpia in 1988 and quickly repeated his first solid work. The team, according to the testimonies of the players, was wonderful collective of players who played together for a long time, they grew together as a team, matured and succeeded. Olimpia was well-oiled team, playing attacking football – that comes from everybody of the team asked for recollections, but memory is funny thing: in later years, players said the team was young and that contradicts birthdates: a good number of key players was approaching 30 in 1990 and there were still playing links with the 1979 triumphal squad – Jorge Guasch, for example. The goalkeeper Ever Hugo Almeida must be mentioned, of course: 42-years by now and living legend not only of the club, the naturalized Uruguayan was a great example and motivator for his teammates in both Olimpia and the Paraguayan national team. He was more than solid between the goalposts – particularly instrumental by saving penalties in both regular time and penalty shoot-outs, including the second leg of the final. Almeida retired shortly after the Copa Libertadores victory, but retired as a winner. Players like him and Guasch made the work Cubilla easier, for they were familiar with his style from previous work under him and quickly translated his demands in the dressing room. As a whole, Olimpia made a great transition from one team to another and rightfully came on top of South American football.

Copa Interamericana

Copa Interamericana. If anything, stronger than usual opponents contested it this time – Paraguayan Olimpia (Asuncion) and Mexican America (Mexico City). It was played in 1991, once again leading to confusion to which year actually the contest belongs – as in previous years, different sources give alternatively 1990 and 1991. For the clubs and their fans the competition apparently had some importance, for both legs were quite well attended and the battle on the field was fierce.
Perhaps too fierce, for there was a massive brawl started by America’s Uruguayan coach Carlos Miloc. It could have been the biggest attraction of the contest, disgraceful as it was.

Eventually, America prevailed.
First Leg
October 1, 1991
Estadio de los Defensores del Chaco, Asunción
Attendance: 15,000
Olimpia (PAR) 1-1 América (MEX)
[Gabriel González 30; Eduardo de los Santos “Edú” 9]

Olimpia: Jorge Battaglia – Virginio Cáceres, Mario Ramírez, Rogelio Delgado, Silvio Suárez, Fermín Balbuena, Jorge Guasch, Carlos Guirland, Jorge Gómez (Campos), Carlos Torres (Franco), Gabriel González
Coach: Aníbal “Maño” Ruiz (PAR)

América: Alejandro García – Juan Hernández, José Enrique Vaca, José Enrique Rodón, Cecilio de los Santos, Alejandro Domínguez, Jesús Eduardo Córdova, Gonzalo Farfán, Antonio Carlos Santos, Eduardo de los Santos (Arturo Cañas), Luis Roberto Alves “Zague”
Coach: Carlos Miloc (URU)

Referee: Francisco Lamolina (ARG)

Second Leg
October 12, 1991
Estadio Azteca, Ciudad de México
Attendance: 60,000
América (MEX) 2-1 Olimpia (PAR)
[Antonio Teodoro dos Santos “Toninho” 7, 41; Gabriel González 20]

América: Alejandro García – Juan Hernández, Alejandro Domínguez, José Enrique Rodón, Cecilio De los Santos (55′ sent off) – Gonzalo Farfán, Jesús Eduardo Córdoba (26′ José Enrique Vaca), Eduardo de los Santos, Antonio Carlos Santos, Antonio Teodoro dos Santos “Toninho” (64′ Arturo Cañas), Luis Roberto Alves “Zague”
Coach: Carlos Miloc (URU)

Olimpia: Jorge Battaglia – Virginio Cáceres, Mario Ramírez, Rogelio Delgado (55′ sent off), Silvio Suárez – Fermín Balbuena, Jorge Guasch, Adolfo Jara Heyn, Carlos Guirland (55′ César Castro) – Gabriel González, Cristóbal Cubilla (46′ Julio César Romero).
Coach: Aníbal “Maño” Ruiz (PAR)

Referee: Ronald Gutiérrez (CRC)

The match was stopped temporarily by fighting after 50 minutes when América coach Carlos Miloc ran on the field to attack Olimpia player Fermín Balbuena. Then Olimpia players went for the coach, knocking him to the ground and kicking him. CONCACAF suspended Miloc for a year, and América fired him. Apart from that, one my note the popping-up of Julio Cesar Romero again against Mexican – he already not only left Mexico, where he played a bit for champions Puebla in 1990, but also his next club Sportivo Luqieno to join by 1991 Olimpia.

America happily received Copa Interamericana.

Most likely this photo is from the Interamericana contest. Olimpia lost, so nothing much to brag about.
America (Mexico City) won the trophy for 2nd time after winning it in 1977. The club provides some information of the successful contest, but quite minimally – victory deserves some print, but as the trophy was unimportant, nothing more than that. Still, they become double winners of Copa Interamericana. Prevailing over South Americans brings some pride in North America.

Mexico I Division

First Division. The strange formula has to be outlined again, just because it is… strange. Every team played twice against all others, but the league was divided into 4 groups of 5 teams and the top two in each group qualified to the next stage. The team with least points in the whole league was relegated.
Group 1.
Irapuato – last with 37 points.
Atletico Morelia – 4th with 39 points.
Monterrey – 3rd with 42 points.
Puebla – 2nd with 46 points and going to the next stage.
UNAM – 1st with 46 points (better goal-difference than Puebla) and going to the next stage.
Group 2.
Atlante (Queretaro) – last with 28 points and since theirs was the worst record in the whole league, they were relegated.
Cruz Azul – 4th with 33 points.
Santos Laguna (Torreon) – 3rd with 34 points.
Toluca – 2nd with 38 points and going to play-offs.
Universidad de Guadalajara – 1st with 40 points and going to play-offs.
Group 3.
Tampico-Madero – last with 29 points.
UAG (Zapopan) – 4th with 34 points.
Atlas (Guadalajara) – 3rd with 37 points.
UAT – 2nd with 40 points and qualified to next stage.
America – 1st with 48 points and qualified to next stage.
Group 4.
Veracruz – last with 34 points.
Cobras (Ciudad Juarez) – 4th with 38 points.
CD Guadalajara – 3rd with 38 points.
Necaxa – 2nd with 39 points and qualified to play-offs.
UANL – 1st with 40 points and qualified to play-offs.
Championship play-offs.
¼ finals.
Toluca was eliminated by America 1-1 and 0-3.
Necaxa (Mexico City) eliminated by UNAM 0-0 and 1-3.
UAT Correcaminos was dramatically eliminated by… the rules. They won the first leg against Puebla 3-1, but lost the second with the same result. Puebla went ahead because of better first-stage record.
UANL was eliminated by U de G 3-2 and 1-3.
½ finals.
America (Mexico City) lost to U de G 0-2 and 2-1.
UNAM (Mexico City) lost to Puebla 4-4 and 2-4.
U de G lost the first leg at home 1-2 and also the second away 3-4. Puebla was the winner.
Universidad de Guadalajara – or Leones Negros – had very strong season, but at the end failed to win the championship. Small differences, but not in their favour.
Puebla triumphed and it was well deserved victory – the team was the third strongest in the first stage, which helped them in the ¼ finals – the only kind of shaky performance in the season, but after that they prevailed to the very end. Their total record was 21 wins, 13 ties, 10 losses, scoring 75 goals and receiving 56.
Thus, Puebla won its 2nd title and, naturally, the squad was solid, if not particularly famous outside Mexico: just the name a few, Pablo Larios, Marcelino Bernal, Jose de la Torre were well respected national team players, Brazilian striker Edevaldo provided foreign strength and the club acquired the Paraguayan star Julio Cesar Romero from Spanish FC Barcelona for this season. He was the most famous player in the squad, but he was no longer young, and more or less, a pale shadow of his former self – Moreno was already 33-years old and after the season departed for his country to play for Sportivo Luqueno. Yet, he added a Mexican title to his sporting achievements.

Mexico II Division

Mexico. The usual changes for the season: Potros Neza was promoted from Second Division, but sold its license to Veracruz, so Veracruz played in the top league. Atlante relocated from Mexico City to Queretaro. Orizaba was bought by new owners and they relocated the team to Tijuana, renaming it Inter. Durinb the season Nuevo Leon was sold and the new owners relocated the team to Saltillo, renaming it Leones de Saltillo – thus, Nuevo Leon started season, but Leones finished it. The championship formula remained untouched, but new rules for relegation were going to be introduced the next season.
Second Division. 4 teams relegated, 1 promoted. Relegation was decided in the first stage and the unfortunate were: SUOO, Galicia, Tecoman, and Ayense. The group winners of the second stage went to the final and they were Inter (Tijuana) and Leon. Leon won its home leg 3-0 and managed 1-1 in Tijuana, thus winning the championship and promotion.
Possible picture of Inter of this season. Typically, new owners had ambitious plans and the new team – but old franchise – did well. How well second place was for the owners remained to be seen, though – success had to be immediate and without it… Mexican football history showed a long list of names with meteoric short existence.
Leon (Leon) won the Second Division championship for the first time. A new trophy was fine, but the aim of the club was to return to top flight as quickly as possible and they succeeded. Back to familiar grounds next season.


Canada. Two new teams were added to the professional league – Kitchener Spirit and London Lasers. Northamerican fashion, the league was divided in Eastern and Western Divisions, but since most clubs were located in the East, the Eastern Division had 7 teams and the Western only 4. Of course, the championship was stretched and complicated – in the East every team played 3 times against the teams of its own Division and twice against those in the other Division. In the West every team played 4 times against the other clubs in the their own Division and twice. That way every teams played 26 games in the first stage, after which knock-out phase started from quarterfinals to the grand final.
Newcomers Kitchener Spirit dressed fashionably after the German team.
Vancouver 86ers and Hamilton Steelers reached the final and it was no contest – Vancouver sailed to 6-1 victory.
Hamilton Steelers. They only showed that Canadian football was concentrated in the West and even not the whole West, but just in the city of Vancouver.
The champions left no photo of themselves – at least not one in wider circulation – which was an ample testimony of the real popularity and importance of football in the country. Vancouver 86ers was clearly the best club in the country in every detail, which made them dominant – 3rd title in a row.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica. 1990 was a great year for Costarican football – fantastic debut at the World Cup finals. The World Cup was the focus, so the championship was stopped for a long time and finished much later than usual. The success of the national team during the break very likely motivated the Federation to make changes for the next season – originally, one team was relegated from the 10-team top Division and one promoted from Second Division, but that was changed in the later stage of the championship – the top league was increased to 12 teams for the next season and the relegated team stayed plus one more team was promoted. On the other hand, there was no final of the championship and not all results managed to reach statistics. The championship was in two stages: first the normal league stage in which all teams played 3 times against the rest. The top 6 teams qualified to the second Hexagonal stage and the last was relegated. The winners of the first and second stage played the championship final – but if the same team won both stages there was no final for lack of opponent.
From second level AD Municipal Generalena was promotion. One more team was promoted by the end of the year.
AD Palmares ended last in the first stage of the championship with 16 points and was relegated. By the end of the year they were no longer relegated, because of the enlargement of First Division. AD Guanacasteca finished 9th. AD Municipal Puntarenas – 8th and AD San Carlos – 7th. For those teams the season ended early. The rest qualified to the second stage, but since no results and final table exist today one has to follow only the opening stage of the season: CS Cartagines was 6th.
CS Herediano – 5th.
AD Limonense – 4th.
CS Uruguay de Coronado – 3rd. Standing from left: William Mejía, Ronny Díaz, José Luis Guillén Gallardo, Carlos Vivó Quirós, Miguel Jasper Simpson Lacey, Rodolfo Jarret. Crouching : Juan Morales, Guillermo Guardia, ?, Franco Benavides, Ronald Salazar.
LD Alajuelense – 2nd.
CD Saprissa – 1st. Standing from left: Geovanny Ramírez, Alexis Camacho, Benjamín Mayorga, Geraldo Da Silva, Evaristo Coronado, Eddy Picado. First row: Roger Flores, José Jaikel, Vladimir Quesada, Víctor Badilla.
Saprissa left no doubt who was the strongest in this season: in the first stage they lost just 3 games and left second-placed Alajuelense 8 points behind (still 2 points for a win were given). Then won the Hexagonal second stage as well, so there was no final as such, for Saprissa won already everything. One more title for the leading Costarican club.
In view of the success of Costa Rica at the World Cup, it is perhaps interesting to see how the known squads were represented: Uruguay de Coronado had no national team player. CD Saprissa had 8 players in the national team – however, in the team above only 3 are present: Roger Flores, Jose Jaikel, and Vladimir Quesada. That means… either the club had strong and fairly equal squad, so variety was no problem, or those who impressed at the World Cup went to play abroad. Speculations, of course. Little remained from this championship other than statistical results.

CONCACAF Champions And Vice-champions Cup

Copa de Campeones y Subcampeones CONCACAF 1990. With African and Asian international tournaments becoming more orderly, CONCACAF sunk down as the foggiest: not just withdrawals, but discrepancies about participants (Juventus was listed as a team representing Belize, but since two other clubs from Belize played, this was impossible – so it was a phantom team of unknown origin) and unknown to this very day results. The tournament’s formula, dividing teams geographically into 2 sections – Northern and Central amalgamated at the end and Caribbean – clearly discriminated against the stronger teams from North and Central America, especially the Mexican participants, but perhaps there was no other way to avoid constant Mexican finals and to keep the small nations in the many islands interested in the Cup. At the end, the final was against America (Mexico City) and Pinar del Rio (Cuba) – the winners were known in advance…
Final (Feb 19 & Mar 12, 1991)
Pinar del Río Cub América Mex 2-2 0-6 2-8

First leg
February 19, 1991, La Habana, ref: Ramesh Ramdhan (TRI)
Pinar del Río 2-2 América
[Oswaldo Alonso 20, Osmín Hernández 43; Guillermo Huerta 25,
Antonio Teodoro Dos Santos “Toninho” 31]
Pinar del Río: Martínez, Torres, Osmin Hernández, Cata, Sainz, Reyes, Dacourt (43 Del Pino), Rivera, Oswaldo Alonso, Pedel, Mezquia;
América: García, J.Hernández, Rodón, Tena, De Los Santos, Farfán, Domínguez, Guillermo Huerta, Antonio Teodoro Dos Santos “Toninho”, Luis R.Alves Zague, Cristóbal Ortega.

Second leg
March 12, 1991, Ciudad de México, ref: Majid Jay (USA)
América 6-0 Pinar del Río
[Antonio Teodoro Dos Santos “Toninho” 3, 9, 84,
Luis R.Alves Zangue 68, 80, Osmín Hernández 85og]
América: García (46 Chávez), J.Hernández (70 Guillermo Huerta), Rodón, Tena, De Los Santos, Domínguez, Cristóbal Ortega, Farfán, Muinguia, Antonio Teodoro Dos Santos “Toninho”, Luis R.Alves Zague; Coach:Carlos Miloc
Pinar del Río: Martínez, Cata, Osmin Hernández, R.Torres (74 C.Torres), Sainz, Dacourt, Reyes, Pérez (62 Rivera), Mezquia, Oswaldo Alonso, R.García.

America won the final.
Pinar del Rio played a second CONCACAF final in a row and no doubt the team did their best, but the difference in class was enormous. In any case, this was perhaps the highest moment in Cuban football – two consecutive CONCACAF finals – so, nothing to be ashamed of, but the contrary.
Sure winners and perhaps America even allowed their Cuban opponent to get a draw in the first leg, but that was all grace or pity could permit. America won the continental trophy for 3rd time.

Asian Champions’ Cup

Asian Champions’ Cup.
The formula was as follows – the preliminary round went rather complicated group round-robin tournaments hosted by one country each. Group 2, played in Bahrain, doubled the Gulf Cooperation Council Club Tournament and one team actually had no right to play in the Champions’ Cup, so its results mattered only for GCCCT, but… on them also depended who will qualify in the next round of the Champions’ Cup. After the preliminary qualification groups the semifinals followed in the same fashion: 11 teams were divided into 2 groups, played in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Group A, and Group B in Jakarta, Indonesia. The group winners qualified to the final, played in the usual two legs, home and away. Three teams withdrew (Al Deffatain – Amman, Al Muharraq – Bahrain, and Al Arabi – Kuwait) – the reasons, as usual, were political. Nissan FC (Japan) won the reduced Group A and Liaoning (China) – Group B, and went to the final. Interestingly, both teams played against each other already, both qualifying from the preliminary Group 5. Liaoning won the group back then, but the Japanese scored 11 goals in 3 games, permitting only 1 in their net – it was the winning goal Liaoning against Nissan, making them group winners. The final was really between equal opponents and once again 1 goal was the crucial difference: Liaoning won the first leg at home 2-1 and then kept 1-1 tie at Yokohama.

Liaoning triumphed and celebrated their victory in Communist style. Kind of.

Nissan FC – or Nissan Motors (Yokohama) reached the final for the first time and lost minimally. Sad, but not that bad at all. Japanese football was already going into full professionalism, there were foreign players, and the whole structure was going into massive reorganization – which included changes of names and new league, the J-League. Very soon after playing the Asian final Nissan FC would be no more – at least under that name. From the perspective of the professional reorganization of Japanese football, the relative success of Nissan FC was just a sign confirming the need of such a change: it was clearly the right time to move up a step.

Liaoning brought the first club success for Chinese football, confirming its improvement, which was mostly organizational. Since China was lagging behind South Korea and Japan, the success was mostly a boost, showing the right direction. As a club, Liaoning already had experience – they played at the Champions’ Cup final in 1986-87, when it was a group round-robin format and finished 3rd among the four finalists. This time they were winners, becoming in a way a motor for the Chinese organization of professional football and establishing themselves as a leading club. Historic victory not just for the club, but for the whole Chinese football.

African Player Of The Year

African Player of the Year. For a long time the best players were from the most successful teams and it is futile to ask were the voted best really the best players during the year. Thus, the four players at the top of African voting in 1990 represented Cameroon and Algeria as expected. Rabah Majer (Algeria and FC Porto, Portugal) and Francois Omam-Biyik (Cameroon and Rennes, France) shared 3rd place with 60 points each. Tahar Cherif El-Ouazzani (Algeria and Aydinspor, Turkey) was voted 2nd with 64 points. But that was only academic… the three players’ combined record of 184 points failed short by far from the winner’s 209 points. The year’s favourite had no rivals at all and he was Roger Milla.
Such was charm of the World Cup’s ‘discovery’ and instant international fame of practically retired player. And because of the Cameroonian success, a tiny anonymous club from tiny anonymous country also became known, as if to play one more joke on modern football. For, if anything, Milla still had some kind of a club he played for and records require writing down… Roger Milla, Cameroon and Saint-Pierroise (Saint-Pierre, Reunion). After retiring from professional football, Milla kind of settled in the small island in the Indian Ocean and kicked the ball a bit for fun with the local team. And since he kicked the ball, he was not retired, wasn’t he? Saint-Pierroise won the championship of Reunion as it was, so Milla won a trophy too – hard to argue he was a retiree after his World Cup fame, which eventually brought some light on his playing activities during the year. Anyhow, those amusing facts and questions meant very little after he surprised the world, became instantly everybody’s darling, and outperformed much younger great starts collecting huge paychecks from European big clubs.
After all, it was not Milla’s winning the championship of Reunion, but his World Cup performance and goals, instrumental for the best ever African performance at World Cup finals and propelling Cameroon to the ¼ finals – and almost to the ½ finals. Of course, his first goal against Colombia remains immortal, even if Rene Hiquita’s arrogance is largely to blame. At the end, Milla deserved to be continental player of the year more than anybody else – and it was the second time he was voted number 1 African player – the first time was in 1976, solely based on the successful performance of his already third club: Tonnere (Yaounde). This success propelled him to professional football in France, where he played for 5 clubs in 10 years without getting much notice: funny in way, but Milla was voted African number one when playing for amateur African clubs, but not when playing professionally in France. And he was discovered twice – the first time at 24, when he was noticed by professional French clubs, and second time, when he 38 years old and retired. Amazing comeback, which was really comeback, for Milla left Reunion and returned to active playing in Cameroon at the end of 1990 and played until 1996 for Tonnere (Yaounde) and abroad, adding one more World Cup and new records. It was not a Cinderella story – it was granddad story, unique. Unique even in terms of the rising of African football: 1990 was the last year the African player of the year was actually playing for African club – after that will be only players playing for big European professional clubs voted best. To a point – perhaps a big point – Milla made African players valuable and truly recognized.