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Inivalappil Mani Vijayan Biography

Inivalappil Mani Vijayan is one of the most aggressive and deadly strikers among the Indian football players. Born on April 25,1969 in Thrissur, Kerala, I M Vijayan was a school dropout.

He sold soda bottles in the Trichur Municipal Stadium before starting his sports career. He was fortunately plucked by the then DGP of Kerala, M. K. Joseph from the Thrissur streets and taken under the tutelage of Sridharan and T. K. Chathunny for the Kerala Police football team. In the history of Indian football I.M. Vijayan is renowned for being one of the most dodging defenders, fearsome strikers and the highest paid footballers in India.

Inivalappil Mani Vijayan made his international debut in 1989 and represented the Indian team in many international tournaments like the Nehru Cup, Pre-World Cup, Pre-Olympics, SAF Games, Sahara Cup and SAAF Cup. In the 90s’, he teamed up with Baichung Bhutia to form one of the deadly forward lines of Indian Football.

Inivalappil Mani Vijayan stayed in Kerala Police for four years and moved to Kolkata in 1991. In 1993, Malayala Manorama awarded “a golden boot” to I.M. Vijayan for being the best football player in the Santosh Trophy. Vijayan played for many major teams in India which include Kerala Police, Mohun Bagan, JCT Mills, FC Kochin, East Bengal and the Churchill Brothers.

Inivalappil Mani Vijayan was awarded the “Best Footballer of the Year” in 1993, 97 and 99. He was the first person to win the Arjuna Award from the state of Kerala in 2002. After retirement, Vijayan has set up a football academy in Kerala to train young and enthusiastic players.