Legendary footballer IM Vijayan believes that the Santosh Trophy provides an ideal platform for players to showcase their talent and get noticed by clubs.
Vijayan, who has represented both West Bengal and Kerala in the Santosh Trophy, stated, “All of the players, especially those who have made it to the semifinals thus far, have a chance to shine. This is one of India’s most prestigious tournaments, and they will be looking to impress and catch the attention of the top clubs.”
This season’s 75th National Football Championship for the Santosh Trophy has generated a lot of excitement, with fans flocking to the stands in Malappuram, Kerala. The prestigious competition’s return has wowed everyone, including former India captain Vijayan.
The Santosh Trophy is about to enter the semifinals, and IM Vijayan, widely regarded as one of the country’s greatest footballers, was taken aback by the excitement surrounding the tournament.
“As the Santosh Trophy is being held in Malappuram for the first time, there have been a large number of fans who have come to watch the matches. Kerala is known for its football fans, and the locals have demonstrated this by arriving in large numbers “Vijayan stated.
“Kerala fans are distinct; they are one-of-a-kind. I’ve seen them cheer me on even when I was playing for Mohun Bagan against Kerala Police. When Sathiyan (VP) sir was captain, I also played for Bengal and missed a penalty in a tie-breaker against Kerala. Kerala lost that game, but fans here remember it fondly.”
The coaches at the Hero Santosh Trophy also lauded the tournament’s organisation, which has seen fans throng the stands.
“I was taken aback by how well the tournament was organised. Kerala’s government, the KFA, and the AIFF have provided a fantastic platform for young players and coaches” said Gift Raikhan, whose Manipur team will face West Bengal in the semifinals.
“It’s professional and punctual, and Kerala’s infrastructure is spectacular.”
West Bengal coach Ranjan Bhattacharjee was taken aback by his team’s reception in Kerala.
“I think it’s been very well organised. The way the accommodations were made and how we were greeted by the hotel staff left an impression on us from the first day we arrived in Kerala “He stated. “Aside from that, the quality of the facilities that were set up for us was fantastic.”
(Inputs from IANS)