Former Cameroon star  Roger Milla has been voted the best African footballer of the last 50 years.

The striker who took the 1990 FIFA World Cup™ by storm collected 2,246 votes in a public poll by the  Confederation of African Football as part of its 50th anniversary celebrations.

Milla abandoned semi-retirement on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion to play a pivotal role as Cameroon beat defending champions Argentina, Romania and Colombia before bowing out to England after extra time in the 1990 quarter-finals.

The Cameroonian danced around the corner flag after each of his four goals and the celebration is copied by millions of players around the world to this day.

Milla returned to the FIFA World Cup four years later, scored the consolation goal in a 6-1 drubbing by Russia in the United States, and created history at 42 by becoming the oldest footballer to play in the finals.

Mahmoud al-Khatib, the Egypt striker of the 1980s, finished second just 81 votes behind and compatriot Hossam Hassan, still playing as he approaches 40, was third with 2,011 votes.

Hassan, who has played for Cairo clubs Al Ahly and Zamalek, is the only representative from the top three still playing professional football.

Samuel Eto'o  who was chosen as CAF's best African player for the past two years received 1840 votes to claim fourth place. His competitors for the 2006 award, Didier Drogba and Michael Essien, finished seventh and 11th respectively.

CAF's Top 20 African Players 1957-2007
(Position, player, country, votes. Asterik denotes active footballer)

1. Roger Milla (Cameroon) 2,246
2. Mahmoud al-Khatib (Egypt) 2,165
3. Hossam Hassan* (Egypt) 2,011
4. Samuel Eto'o* (Cameroon) 1,840
5. Abedi Pele (Ghana) 1,783
6. George Weah (Liberia) 1,604
7. Didier Drogba* (Côte d'Ivoire) 1,467
8. Nwankwo Kanu* (Nigeria) 1,209
9. Rabeh Madjer (Algeria) 1,176
10. Kalusha Bwalya (Zambia) 1,073
11. Michael Essien* (Ghana) 996
12. Austin Okocha* (Nigeria) 921
13. Saleh Selim (Egypt) 850
14. Lahcene Lalmas (Algeria) 791
15. Benni McCarthy* (South Africa) 782
16. El-Hadji Diouf* (Senegal) 711
17. Noureddine Naybet* (Morocco) 692
18. Rashidi Yekini (Nigeria) 649
19. Hany Ramzy (Egypt) 608
20. Hassan Shehata (Egypt) 605