Kerala Blasters' pre-season performances provide hope for upcoming Hero ISL season: IM Vijayan
One of the greatest footballers to grace the land, IM Vijayan had an exclusive interaction with indiansuperleague.com ahead of the upcoming Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22. The former Indian team captain and Arjuna Awardee has acknowledged the impact the Hero ISL has had on the sport in the country since its inception in 2014.
"Football leagues used to exist in India, but ISL said to the world that football is there in India. Indian Super League gave the inspiration for many young players to play football and take that as their profession. It was the Indian Super League that inspired many families to support their children for their passion to play football. Indian Super League made a huge contribution to the football world as well as Indian football," he remarked
Although he couldn’t experience the joy of playing in the Hero ISL himself, Vijayan has followed the competition as an avid viewer. Not surprisingly, Kerala Blasters FC is the Thrissur-born legend’s favourite team. And he seems optimistic about the Tuskers’ chances in the upcoming edition.
“Kerala Blasters have been suffering from injuries and defensive side mistakes in recent seasons. In my opinion, up to an extent, it was due to the selection of players. But while analyzing the pre-season performances of the KBFC team this time, there is hope. We can evaluate the performance after a few matches," he quipped.
The striker has played for the two Kolkata giants, SC East Bengal and Mohun Bagan. The two clubs played a massive role in providing him the platform to showcase his talent, while their fans showered unconditional love on him.
He shared his views about ATK Mohun Bagan and SC East Bengal and their performances in previous seasons. "Kerala Blasters is obviously my favourite team, but I like ATK Mohun Bagan and SC East Bengal very much. They made me a world-renowned player. East Bengal's performance was not satisfying in the previous seasons. But I hope they can come back strong.”
The 52-year-old has the same passion for football as before. Just like any other fan, he keeps an eye on his favourite teams and players.
He revealed a few players he looks forward to watching every time they take to the field. "Sunil Chhetri is definitely my favourite player of the Indian Super League. He is distinguished by his hard work and technique on the field. Rahul KP is my favourite in Kerala Blasters.”