I. M. Vijayan happy with the performance of Indian strikers

I. M. Vijayan was a joy to watch during his playing days. The former India striker is now enjoying the fine display put in by the Indian strikers in the ongoing ISL. "Who would have imagined that an Indian would be at the top of the goal-scorers chart at any stage of the ISL?" states Vijayan. "As a former India player and a fan, it has been exciting to watch our forwards, Sunil Chetri and Mohammed Rafi, going toe-to-toe with their foreign counterparts."

Former India striker, I. M. Vijayan   -  K. V. Srinivasan

I. M. Vijayan was a joy to watch during his playing days. The former India striker is now enjoying the fine display put in by the Indian strikers in the ongoing ISL.

“Who would have imagined that an Indian would be at the top of the goal-scorers chart at any stage of the ISL?” states Vijayan. “As a former India player and a fan, it has been exciting to watch our forwards, Sunil Chetri and Mohammed Rafi, going toe-to-toe with their foreign counterparts.”



Chetri and Colombian Stiven Mendoza are currently the leading scorers in the ISL, with six goals apiece. Rafi has found the net on four occasions, which includes the fastest ever goal in the ISL. He scored in the 48th second against FC Pune City on October 27.

All the teams should take a leaf out of NorthEast United – most of their players are from their own region. You need to have men from your own State in the team.


“Both Rafi and Chetri have been outstanding,” says Vijayan, who is part of the ISL’s Malayalam commentary team. “Signing Rafi is one of the few things that Kerala Blasters have done right this season. All the teams should take a leaf out of NorthEast United – most of their players are from their own region. You need to have men from your own State in the team.”

Vijayan admits it was disappointing to see Kerala Blasters faring disastrously after a promising start. “I think the team made far too many changes,” says the former Indian captain. “You don’t have to make so many changes after winning your opening match in a convincing fashion.”

He says the biggest takeaway from the second edition, so far, has been the improvement shown by the Indian players. “Doing well against quality international players would do a world of good to the confidence of our boys,” he says. “I am sure the gap between our players and those from abroad in the ISL would further reduce in the coming few years.”

Vijayan is happy to see big crowds coming to watch football in India. “There is nothing surprising about huge crowds in places such as Kochi and Kolkata. But fans came out in numbers for the ISL match in Mumbai even on a day when India was playing South Africa in an ODI in the same city,” he says. “The ISL has given hope to Indian football. We should thank Nita Ambani, who has conceived and executed this project.”

  Dugout videos