Kerala Blasters FC youngster Rahul KP made known his admiration for senior players like IM Vijayan, Mohammed Rafi, and NP Pradeep, and mentioned how they keep inspiring him.
In a candid chat with AIFF TV, Rahul mentioned how being from the same area as IM Vijayan, him and his family have always been huge fans of the former India captain.
“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 ten minutes from my home. He is very popular, his name is everywhere, and I still remember watching him on the ground, playing amazing,” the youngster said.
“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 lad from Thrissur shared.
Apart from the former Indian captain, other players like Mohammed Rafi and NP Pradeep hail from the hotspot of Kerala football. These veterans now play an important role in the development of youngsters.
“Rafi bhai (Mohammed Rafi), is my big bro. When you say name a few from Kerala, the list is long. 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 for Indian Super League side Kerala Blasters in 2019. When quizzed on why he signed with the Tuskers, Rahul said, “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,” a nostalgic Rahul remembered.
Kerala Blasters have been known for their atmosphere during games, thanks to their massive fan base which makes it a wonderful feeling for any player for the yellow army. “There was a lot of emotion in the club – the fan base, the stadium created a different atmosphere. I have felt it when I have played here. I have seen the fans waving, it’s wonderful, and this makes it an amazing feeling to play for them.”
Along with Rahul KP, the Blasters have another young talent in their ranks – Sahal Abdul Samad. Speaking about the duo’s relationship, the attacker said, “We are like brothers. Sahal and I have been roommates and we are good to each other. We challenge each other, and it helps us to improve. It is amazing. As a player, Sahal is amazing. He has a lot of quality and his talent is unbelievable. He is a good human being as well. He has been, and is a good teammate, friend and everything.”