Who is Vinay Menon?- Know all about India’s indirect representative at FIFA World Cup 2022

The wellness coach of the Belgian team will be looking into various aspects like the physical and mental well-being of the players.

Ritesh PathakAuthor

Updated - 16 November 2022 08:27 PM

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India might not be playing in the FIFA World Cup 2022 but that does not mean there is no representation from the South Asian country. India is very much being represented at the biggest footballing tournament. Not on the field, but in certain activities surrounding it. In Vinay Menon, the Belgium team for the upcoming showpiece will have a Keralite among its backroom staff. 

The wellness coach of the Belgian team will be looking into various aspects like the physical and mental well-being of the players. The 48-year-old has previously also worked with Chelsea FC, one of the top clubs in Europe; he has also played an important role in fine-tuning the Chelsea squads that won the UEFA Champions League in the 2011-12 and 2020-21 seasons.

"I feel proud to have gotten this opportunity to be with the Belgian national team in the World Cup," said Menon. "It makes me really happy that I can represent India and make my country proud in my own way. India might not have a team yet in the World Cup, but I hope that all Indians who are travelling to Qatar for the matches will come and support Belgium," he said.

"If Belgium, with a population of 11 million, can make it to the World Cup, there's no reason why India with a population of 1.3 billion, can't," he added. Vinay also hoped for India to play at football’s biggest tournament in 2030 and said he will be happy to lend his expertise to it.  “I believe that India can play the World Cup by 2030, and if and when that happens, I would very much like to lend my expertise to the national team." Shaji Prabhakaran,

Meanwhile, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) secretary general, Shaji Prabhakaran said he is proud of Vinay who has found his way into the Belgium team even if it is as a support staff. "For India, it's a very proud moment; an Indian getting into the Belgium national team, as a wellness coach.

"This is not a small responsibility Vinay has undertaken. Being the wellness coach means, he's a mental strategist of the team. And therefore, he controls the mind of the players that helps to measure the performance and puts the goals in front of the players."

(With PTI inputs)

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