Vijayan, during an Instagram interaction with Chhetri on Sunday, regretted that very fact.
“It was great to play with Bhaichung but it’s sad that I could never play with you. It would have been amazing had we three played together…we would have raised a storm,” said Vijayan.
Chhetri also rued that he never had the opportunity to play with the man whom he termed as “pure magic”.
The Bengaluru FC and India captain also asked the Kerala genius why, in spite of having offers, he didn’t pursue a career outside the country. “Things weren’t so professional then. There was no one to guide me. Today, you have the opportunity to ask a few people before making a decision. I had to take my decisions alone. I don’t know what would have happened had I gone out,” 51-year-old Vijayan replied. “I was quite happy to be here…playing with the likes of Jo Paul Ancheri, Carlton Chapman and others.”
Vijayan also narrated his hardships and that he signed to play in Mohun Bagan so that he could build a house for the family. The Indian football legend rattled out some interesting anecdotes from his playing days, some of which left Chhetri in splits. He spoke of his general dislike for warm-ups and how things have improved in Indian football.
“The circumstances have definitely improved. There are so many support staff with the national team now, which is very good. I remember there was a time when we had to carry hot water in bottles to the practice ground. Yet, we had a great time,” he said.
Vijayan is equally famous for his exploits in Sevens football and Chhetri asked him to name a Sevens team, keeping the duo in the side. The former Kerala Police and JCT player chose Ancheri, Bhutia, M Suresh, Sharaf Ali and Dinesh Nair as the others.
“Great team,” Chhetri said. “We will play a match and will try to win.”