Wily Vijayan turns 43
Inivalappil Mani Vijayan, who spent a few fruitful years with Mohun Bagan, was one the finest Indian strikers of the modern era. Born on 25th April 1969, Vijayan started his football career in 1987 with Kerala Police.
Known for his impeccable skill, Vijayan joined Mohun Bagan in 1991. He was part of a devastating strike force which also included Chima Okorie. His hunger for new challenges saw him play for numerous Indian clubs. He joined Mohun Bagan on three different occasions and spent only one season with the club on each.
Vijayan was the first to be crowned 'Indian Player of the Year' on multiple occasions - in 1992, 1997 and 2000. He also received the Arjuna award in 2003. In a match against Bhutan in the 1999 SAFF Cup, Vijayan scored one of the fastest international goals with only 12 seconds on the clock. Along with Baichung Bhutia, Vijayan formed one of the deadliest strike forces in Indian football history. In his 79 international appearances, he tallied 40 goals. His wily play earned him the tag of 'fox in the box' from former India coach Stephen Constantine.
After retiring from competitive football, he acted in the National Award winning film 'Shantham.' He has also opened up a football school in hometown of Thrissur, Kerala, and has dedicated his attention to mentoring the kids there.
McDowell Mohun Bagan Wishes this legend a very happy birthday and all the success in life!!
Image courtesy: www.corporationofthrissur.org
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