A big admirer of legendary I M Vijayan, young Kerala Blasters FC forward Rahul KP says the towering former India footballer keeps motivating him after inspiring him to take up the 'beautiful game'. "There are a lot of players who have helped me. Like IM Vijayan, I come from the same place as him. My family and friends are all big fans of him. He stays 10 minutes from my home. He is very popular, his name is everywhere, and I still remember watching him on the ground, playing amazing," Rahul told AIFF TV.
"I personally know him and he has been great to me. He keeps motivating me, giving me positive energy and treats me like his own son. He is a great human being, and we have a good relationship. I am close to him, it is amazing," the footballer from Thrissur added.
Apart from the former Indian captain, other players like Mohammed Rafi and NP Pradeep also hail from the hotspot of Kerala football and these veterans now play important roles in the development of youngsters. "Rafi bhai (Mohammed Rafi), is my big bro. I have always had a good relationship with NP Pradeep, Mohammed Rafi. They have a lot to say, and always give good advice."
The former India U-17 striker, who played in the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup, represented the Indian Arrows for two years before signing up for Indian Super League side Kerala Blasters in 2019.
"I am from Kerala. I have seen the club and their performance since I was young. There was a lot of passion from my side for the club. "Before joining the club, I used to go watch the matches. It was my dream team to join, and dreamt about playing for them. So, when I got an opportunity and they called me up, I was very happy to sign with them," he said.