Two nights ago, the Champions League trophy landed in the hands of Chelsea, which wasn't something anyon would have imagined at the start of the season.
That, and the fact that they will defeat Premier League champions Manchester city in the final which didn't end in a conversation-worthy scoreline, but was very exciting for the club supporters anyway.
The journey to the final was long for Chelsea and holding their hand through it was an Indian. Keeping our club loyalties aside, we can all take immense pride in the fact that on of our own, Vinay Menon has played a crucial role in Chelsea's accomplishments as their fitness trainer.
Vinay is an MPhil in sports psychology and become a part of the cub through its owner Roman Abramovich. The Indian was teaching breathing excercises to Abramovich's family when the latter thought his services could be used at the club.
Congratulations @ChelseaFC 🎉🥳 champions of Europe 🏆⚽. Thomas Tuchel and gang you deserve this, and also Frank Lampard who made crucial signings during his tenure, also special shoutout to Mr Vinay Menon, wellness consultant at Chelsea from Kerala, India 👏— Amogh Dessai (@AmoghDesai10) May 30, 2021
This was back in 2008, and since then, Vinay has been an integral part of Chelsea and its quest to win Europe.
Vinay has worked with all the big guys of Chelsea, like Mourinho, Lampard, Drogba and relief heavily on Adhyatma Vidya. He has also come up with a program called ARFA - Awareness, Recovery, Focus and Achievement.
In an old interview given to The Week, Vinay had said:
At Chelsea, my role is to help players concentrate and build focus, as emotions are always on edge. I observe them from a distance during training, and wait for the right moment to lend a hand. I have a one-on-one session with the players at least once a week. Conte always tells me: ‘Vinay, they need to have the fire in them to perform. You have to motivate them to keep it burning’.
Glad to see an Indian part of #Chelsea support team. Vinay Menon from Kochi is a wellness consultant with #Blues for last more than 10 years. Inspiring journey from meeting #Abramovich to landing at #ChelseaFC and involvement in football training thru #Drogba— Shaji Prabhakaran (@Shaji4Football) May 30, 2021
Truth be told, initially people were a little sceptical of Vinay and his practices. Some even thought he is there to do voodoo. But seeing the results and the science behind his methods, they have come to realise their effectiveness.