Even for a diehard Liverpool FC fan like C K Vineeth the joy of the Reds winning the English league title after 30 years has been pushed to the background due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The winger, who will don East Bengal colours as and when the domestic football season gets under way, has been confined to his home at Mangattidam near Koothuparamba in Kannur.
“I used to play with the locals when the lockdown was eased. But right now, Mangattidam has been declared a containment zone. So strictly no football. I have been doing weight training at my home to keep myself fit,” Vineeth told Onmanorama over the phone.
Vineeth, who has named his house Anfield, the home of Liverpool FC, feels the pandemic has taken the shine off his favourite club’s long-awaited title triumph. “The fans are missing and with it a bit of the rivalry too. I didn't watch Liverpool lifting the trophy (on Wednesday night) since my weight training session starts at 6 in the morning,” said the 32-year-old.
Vineeth has no doubt that the fans will be sorely missed once he returns to the playing field. “It's going to be tough for sure. But we are professionals and we have no other go but to adapt to playing behind closed doors for the time being,” said Vineeth.
Vineeth, who is known for his ability to pounce on opportunistic chances and convert them into goals, played a key role in Kerala Blasters' run to the final of the Indian Super League (ISL) in 2016. However, after a rather quiet season the following year, Vineeth shifted to Chennaiyin FC before moving over to Jamshedpur FC last season. He will be joined by his close friend and former Bengaluru FC teammate Rino Anto at East Bengal. “Rino will be there in Kolkata and I will have company for sure,” he said.
Vineeth was in the news when he volunteered at a COVID-19 helpline centre set up by the Kannur district administration during the recent lockdown. At present, he's making the most of the unexpected break by spending quality time with his family. “I get to spend a lot of time with my two-year-old son Ethan Steve (who has been named after Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard),” added Vineeth.