Former Indian captain, Inivalappil Mani Vijayan (IM Vijayan) showed age is no concern, while dribbling against his former teammate and ex-India captain, Jo Paul Ancheri on Monday.
Popularly known as Kalo Hiran or “black buck”, Vijayan won the Arjuna Award and multiple AIFF Men’s Player of the Year in the years 1993, 1997 and 1999 after winning the SAFF Championship in those respective years.
His 44-year-old compatriot, Ancheri played just behind him as a midfielder ever since 1993 till Vijayan’s retirement, and both have played for clubs like Mohun Bagan, JCT, FC Kochin and East Bengal together.
The 50-year-old former striker was shot by the director of The Association of Indian Football Coaches (AIFC), Dinesh Nair, in what seemed to be an informal session with the ball at the feet of the footballing legends.
— Dinesh Nair (@DineshNair74) August 26, 2019
His brace in the 1997 Durand Cup final forged history for the state of Kerala as he had guided FC Kochin to become the first club from the state of Kerala to win the tournament. Ever since his retirement in 2003, he focuses on his training academy in Thrissur.
On Gokulam Kerala’s recent Durand Cup triumph against 16-time-champions Mohun Bagan, Vijayan spoke to The New Indian Express and said, “FC Kochin brought the title to Kerala for the first time and we all know how it helped football in the state.”
“Gokulam’s title triumph will once again galvanize the sport in the state. Winning such a historic tournament – whether it is the Durand Cup or Federation Cup – carries a lot of prestige.”