Former India international IM Vijayan mourned the passing of the all-time great Chuni Goswami on Thursday by referring to him as an absolute legend of the game.
Vijayan, when he played for Mohun Bagan during his illustrious career, regularly came in contact with the legendary footballer, who spent his entire career with the Green and Maroons. Vijayan might have missed out on watching Chuni da take on defenders on the field like he did when he led India to the 1962 Asian Games gold medal. But he compared the situation to that of Brazilian Pele, whose impact in the wonderful game remains ever-lasting.
"Chuni Goswami is one of the legends of Indian football. Chuni, PK Banerjee, Abdul Rahman, they are all India's greats. I have only heard about his (Goswami's) talent during his playing days. We haven't seen Pele play, but we consider people like them as footballers on a different level," Vijayan told Goal.
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He added, "He was at the Mohun Bagan office when I played for the club in Kolkata. People like him are legends of the game."
The former Indian football team captain passed away at the age of 82 on Thursday in Kolkata. Goswami was suffering from prolonged illness for the past few months. He was admitted to a city hospital earlier on Thursday.
The veteran footballer is survived by his wife Basanti Goswami and son.