Stephen Constantine has been awarded the Indian Sports Illustrated Coach of the Year award after another wonderful year in charge of the India national side.
It is a well deserved award for Stephen, who has led India to qualify for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup® for only the third time in their history – the Asian equivalent of the UEFA European Championships®, a remarkable achievement and they have not lost a match since March 2016. This has seen Stephen praised by the likes of Arsene Wenger and Steve Coppell for his achievements with India. India went the whole of 2017 undefeated, with a record only matched at international level by Germany.
About Stephen Constantine
A London-born, very ambitious and highly motivated head coach/manager who has coached/managed across four different continents, Stephen is currently the India national team manager/head coach and he holds the highest qualification available to the coaching profession – the UEFA® Pro Licence.
He has been a revelation for India, winning the SAFF Cup in January 2016 for the first time in the nation’s history, before they embarked on a run of thirteen wins from their last fifteen games up to June 2018, including eight successive wins – both national team records. Their success saw them rise to their highest FIFA® world ranking in six years in October 2016, which was then bettered in May 2017 as they reached 100 in the world rankings – a significant achievement in the context of Indian football and just six short of their highest-ever, achieved some 21 years ago.
Prior to taking over as India manager for the second time in January 2015, he had worked wonders in Rwanda, where he took the country to number 68 in the FIFA® world rankings, a record for the nation and the highest movers in world football. Dedicated to self-improvement as a means of maximising the development and performances of both his teams and players, he has consistently achieved exceptional results in some of the world’s most diverse and challenging football environments.
Having managed on four different continents at both international and club level, Stephen has a wealth of experience and has evolved in to one of the most internationally recognised coaches around. He has managed the India national side twice, as well as Rwanda, Malawi, Sudan and Nepal’s national sides – achieving unprecedented success at each – and he has also worked in England with Millwall and AFC Bournemouth.
His successes have come at club level, too. Until July 2012, Stephen was the manager of Nea Salamina Famagusta in Cyprus, whom he led to promotion to the Cyprus Premier League in 2011 – having taken over the club when they sat bottom of the Second Division table. After leading the club to promotion they were pre-season favourites for relegation and with arguably he lowest budget in the top flight of Cypriot football. After signing some players from the lower echelons of English football the club pushed for a place in the UEFA® Europa League. Against all the odds, they also defeated APOEL – the biggest club in Cypriot football – and who qualified for the last 16 of the UEFA® Champions League.
In November 2013, Stephen became joint manager at Greek Superleague club Apollon Smymi. Stephen left the club in May 2014 after being offered the managerial position of the Rwanda national team. He worked wonders for Rwanda, leading them to qualify for the group stages of the African Cup of Nations after he orchestrated victories over Libya and Congo in the first and second round qualifiers respectively. His immediate impact was highlighted as Rwanda moved up from 135th to 93rd in the FIFA® world rankings in September 2014, before he was offered the opportunity to manage the India national side for a second time in January 2015. He led them to the SAFF Championship title in January 2016 – held in India in front of thousands of delirious supporters.
His national managerial career had begun with Nepal – and what he delivered was nothing short of a football miracle. For their history-making efforts, the entire squad and staff were recognised by the late King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev at the royal palace, where Stephen was awarded the Prabal Gorkha Dakshin Baahu (the Nepalese equivalent of the British OBE), the highest honour the country may bestow on a foreigner, before he was offered the role as the India national manager.
Stephen also works for FIFA®, travelling the world to deliver coaching courses to prospective managers and helping them to ascertain their coaching badges.
Stephen’s passion continues to be to identify, coach and develop players. Stephen also has a book that was released in July 2017 that details his extremely interesting career managing and coaching around the world.
Congratulations, Stephen, from everyone at ACHIEVE.