Milla delighted when he can do the rumba

THERE was no mistaking the mischievous grin or the glint in the eye . . . Roger Milla is back on the goal trail.

Milla, now 42, was one of the stars of Italia '90 with four goals for Cameroon as they reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup.

And with the 1994 World Cup in the United States due to kick-off on June 17, Milla and Co. are preparing for action with a short Asian tour.

After drawing 2-2 and losing 2-1 in South Korea, Cameroon stopped off in Hong Kong yesterday on their way to southern China, where they meet a Shenzhen XI in the Dunhill Invitation Cup at the Shenzhen Stadium tonight (7.30pm).

Milla played only the final 20 minutes of the game which ended in a 2-1 defeat in Korea but feels he is well on his way to full fitness.

''I was very happy with how I felt in the short time I was on the field,'' he said.

''There is still another 11/2 months before the World Cup and I know I will be ready when the time comes . . . if I am selected in the team.

''I will work hard every day to get in the best possible shape, so if the coach wants me to play even for five minutes I know I can give my best.'' ''If I score I dance,'' added Milla, referring to his trademark rumba by the corner flag to celebrate a goal.

Cameroon have been drawn in Group B of the World Cup first round, playing against Sweden in Los Angeles and against Brazil and Russia in San Francisco.

Their captain and central defender, Stephen Tataw, said this year's World Cup would be much harder for Cameroon because now they were a recognised power in the international game.

''In Italy we were neglected by people around the world because they did not think Cameroon could play to such a high level,'' Tataw said.

''This time the teams we are playing will take us much more seriously and it is going to be tougher for us to do well. But we know what awaits us and will do what we can to strike harder than in 1990.

''In 1990 we beat Argentina and Columbia and now we take on the strongest country from South America, Brazil - but we feel we are going to crush them.

''We promise we will put in a lot of effort to entertain the people all around the world.'' Team manager Nestor Andze said Cameroon still struggled for money and that they would be delighted to hear from potential sponsors during their short trip to the region.