Stephen Constantine

Stephen Constantine (born 16 October 1962) is an English professional football coach and former player.

Stephen Constantine
Iran vs. India - 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification, Stephen Constantine.jpg
Constantine coaching India in a match against Iran
Personal information
Date of birth (1962-10-16) 16 October 1962 (age 57)
Place of birth London, England
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
Pennsylvania Stoners
New York Pancyprian-Freedoms
Teams managed
1999–2001 Nepal
2002–2005 India
2005–2006 Millwall (first team coach)
2007–2008 Malawi
2009–2010 Sudan
2010 APEP
2010–2012 Nea Salamis
2012–2013 Ethnikos Achna
2013–2014 Apollon Smyrni (assistant manager)
2014–2015 Rwanda
2015–2019 India
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Early and personal lifeEdit

Constantine was born on 16 October 1962 in London.[1][2] He is of Greek-Cypriot descent.[2] He is a fan of English club Arsenal.[3] Constantine is married with three daughters; his family were living in Cyprus while he was coaching in Sudan.[4]

Playing careerEdit

Constantine played in the United States for the Pennsylvania Stoners and the New York Pancyprian-Freedoms.[5] He retired from playing at the age of 26, following a serious knee injury.[5]

Coaching careerEdit

After retiring from playing, Constantine spent his early coaching career in the United States and Cyprus.[5]

Constantine coached the Nepalese national team between 1999 and 2001, and was awarded a medal by the country's King.[5] Constantine was then manager of the Indian national team from 2002 to 2005.[6] After leaving India he was the first-team coach for English club Millwall during the 2005–06 season.[3] He has also worked in England for Bournemouth.[2]

In January 2007 he was on a two-man shortlist, alongside Carlos Alberto da Luz, for the manager's job of the Malawi national team.[7] He was named as Malawi manager in February 2007, with the role beginning on 1 March 2007.[8] He resigned in April 2008.[9]

He became manager of the Sudan national team in February 2009.[10] After leaving Sudan he managed in the Cypriot domestic leagues with APEP and Nea Salamis Famagusta, the latter of which he guided to promotion in the Cypriot First Division.[11][12] He was also manager of Ethnikos Achna from December 2012 to February 2013.[1]

In July 2013 he was linked with the Jamaican national team vacancy.[13] He became the assistant manager of Greek club Apollon Smyrni in November 2013.[14] He set up the British Coaches Abroad Association in November 2013.[15]

He became manager of the Rwandan national team in May 2014,[12] taking charge of his first match in June.[16] He stated his aim was to build a team strong enough to challenge for the 2016 African Nations Championship, which Rwanda were due to host.[17] In December 2014 Rwanda attained their highest ever ranking, of 68th position.[18] Later that month he was linked with a return to India as their new national manager,[19][20] and in early January 2015 he was offered the position.[21]

Return to IndiaEdit

In December 2014, it was reported that Constantine would become the next head coach of India again, after Wim Koevermans' contract ran out.[22] He would beat the favourite for the position, Ricki Herbert.[22] On 16 January 2015, it was confirmed that Constantine had returned to take over India for a second stint.[23]

His first match as India head coach came on 12 March 2015 in the qualifier against Nepal at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium. Two goals from Sunil Chhetri lead India to a 2–0 victory and lead going into the second leg in Kathmandu.[24] A 0–0 draw at the Dasarath Rangasala Stadium saw India progress to the next round of World Cup/Asian Cup qualifying.[25] As a result of India's top results against Nepal, the country saw a rise by 26 in the April FIFA World Rankings to 147.[26]

In April 2015, it was announced that India would be placed in Group D for the World Cup/Asian Cup qualifiers with Asia's top side, Iran, as well as Oman, Turkmenistan, and Guam.[27] India came bottom of the group, winning only one game.[28]

In January 2016, Constantine led India to the SAFF Championship title, beating Afghanistan 2–1 in the final. He led India to 100th in the FIFA rankings as of June 2017.[29] The win against Kyrgyzstan in June was India's eighth in a row.[30] The unbeaten streak ran to 13 games, including 11 wins, but ended with a 2–1 defeat to Kyrgyzstan in March 2018.[31]

During the unbeaten run, India qualified for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.[32] In June 2018, India won the Intercontinental Cup, beating Kenya in the final.[33] Afterwards, Constantine was named Sports Illustrated coach of the year in India.[34]

At the 2019 Asian Cup, Constantine said he was aiming for progression from the group stages.[35] The team won their opening game against Thailand, but finished fourth in their group after conceding a last-minute penalty in their final group game against Bahrain, and Constantine resigned from his position as manager.[36] After his resignation, the All India Football Federation president Praful Patel said: "It's been a wonderful journey. We have travelled a long distance together, and the world has seen it all." [37] Constantine took India from 173 in the FIFA World Rankings in March 2015 [38] to 97 in December 2018.[39]


Constantine has worked as a FIFA Instructor,[40] and is a member of FIFA's elite coaching panel.[3]


In March 2018, Constantine's autobiography, From Delhi to the Den, was nominated for the Football Writers' Association book of the year, part of the British Sports Book Awards.[41]


  1. ^ a b "Profile". Soccerway. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
  2. ^ a b c "Brits abroad: Six coaches from these isles you've never heard of". Eurosport. 10 April 2013. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  3. ^ a b c Ian Hughes (14 December 2005). "Passage from India". BBC Sport. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  4. ^ Jeff D. Opdyke (19 June 2009). "The Coach of Lost Causes". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d Clemente Lisi (30 September 2010). "10 Questions With... Stephen Constantine". US Soccer Players. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
  6. ^ Stuart Roach (19 November 2003). "Constantine's rising stock". BBC Sport. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  7. ^ Aubrey Sumbuleta (19 January 2007). "Two in frame for Malawi job". BBC Sport. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  8. ^ Aubrey Sumbuleta (2 February 2007). "Constantine named as Malawi coach". BBC Sport. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  9. ^ Aubrey Sumbuleta (17 April 2008). "Constantine dumps Malawi". BBC Sport. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  10. ^ Rahul Bali (15 February 2009). "Exclusive: Sudan Appoint Stephen Constantine As National Coach". Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  11. ^ Sam Crocker (9 October 2014). "Stephen Constantine: I'm quite happy to do the jobs that nobody else wants". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  12. ^ a b "Stephen Constantine appointed Rwanda coach". BBC Sport. 21 May 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  13. ^ Howard Walker (16 July 2013). "Englishman Constantine front-runner for coaching job — source". The Jamaica Observer. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  14. ^ "Ανακοίνωση" (in Greek). Apollon Smyrni F.C. 21 November 2013. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  15. ^ Owen Amos (3 December 2014). "British Coaches Abroad: The First Year". Football365. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  16. ^ "Constantine eyes Rwanda breakthrough". FIFA. 30 July 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  17. ^ Ian Hughes (22 May 2014). "Rwanda coach Constantine targets 2016 CHAN success". BBC Sport. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  18. ^ Usher Komugisha (18 December 2014). "Rwanda achieve historic Fifa ranking". Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  19. ^ "Stephen Constantine to take charge as India football team's coach". The Times of India. 27 December 2014. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  20. ^ "Constantine poised for a second stint". The Hindu. 21 December 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  21. ^ "AIFF offers Constantine Indian football coach's job". The Times of India. 6 January 2015. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
  22. ^ a b "Stephen Constantine to take charge as India football team's coach". Times of India. 27 December 2014. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  23. ^ "Stephen Constantine Appointed Head Coach of Indian Football Team". NDTV Sports. 16 January 2015. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  24. ^ Mitra, Atanu; Netto, Brendon (12 March 2015). "India 2-0 Nepal: Chhetri leads Blue Tigers to victory over neighbours". Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  25. ^ "INDIA BEAT NEPAL TO REACH JOINT QUALIFIERS SECOND ROUND". The Asian Football Confederation. 17 March 2015. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  26. ^ Mitra, Atanu; Noronha, Anselm (9 April 2015). "India ranked 147 in latest FIFA Rankings, climb 26 places". Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  27. ^ Bera, Kaustav; Noronha, Anselm (14 April 2015). "India placed in Group D in the 2018 World Cup and 2019 Asian Cup Qualifier Round Two". Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  28. ^ "FIFA World Cup 2018 AFC qualifying". 3 April 2018. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  29. ^ "India beat Afghanistan 2-1 to lift SAFF Cup title for 7th time - Times of India". Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  30. ^ Dhiman Sarkar (14 June 2017). "India have one foot in 2019 Asian Cup finals". Retrieved 4 July 2017.
  31. ^ "India's 13-match unbeaten streak ends". 27 March 2018. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  32. ^ Arka Bhattacharya (26 March 2018). "India may have already qualified for Asian Cup, but Kyrgyzstan match is no dead rubber". Retrieved 20 July 2018.
  33. ^ Swapnaneel Parasar (10 June 2018). "India win 2018 Intercontinental Cup". Retrieved 20 July 2018.
  34. ^ "Kidambi Srikanth wins sportsperson of the year". 22 June 2018. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^ "AIFF thanks Constantine". SportsKeeda. 15 January 2019. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  38. ^ "FIFA World Rankings March 2015". FIFA. 12 March 2015. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  39. ^ "FIFA World Rankings December 2018". FIFA. 20 December 2018. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  40. ^ "Communiqué" (PDF). The Football Association. 10 April 2013. p. 5. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  41. ^ "Busby and Paisley go head-to-head". The Bookseller. 19 March 2018. Retrieved 7 April 2018.

External linksEdit