Indian Football

From Houghton to Constantine: 3 Foreign coaches to manage India in the recent past

Arjun Singh Devgan
Stephen Constantine had two spells as India head coach
Stephen Constantine had two spells as India head coach / Matthew Ashton - AMA/GettyImages

The Indian national football team have had a number of foreign coaches in recent past and while some have been successful on the pitch, a few of them have struggled to impose their style of play among the players in the squad.

Here, we take a look at some of the foreign coaches to hold the managerial reigns of the Blue Tigers in the recent past.

1. Bob Houghton (2006 to 2011)

Indian football coach Bob Houghton (L) h
Indian football coach Bob Houghton (L) h / MANAN VATSYAYANA/GettyImages

Widely known for taking Swedish side, Malmo FF to the 1979 European Cup final, Bob Houghton was appointed as head coach of the Indian national team in 2006.

His appointment can be considered a success considering that he led the Blue Tigers to two Nehru Cup titles and the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup.

Despite seeing his contract renewed till 2013, the Englishman resigned from his post in 2011 after their poor performances in the 2011 Asian Cup - with the All India Football Federation (AIFF) technical committee urging the executive committee to sack him.

2. Wim Koevermans (2012 to 2015)


A member of the Dutch team who won the 1988 European Championships, Wim Koevermans managed a number of clubs in Holland and it was this experience that saw him taking over the managerial reigns of India in 2012.

The 61-year-old could only manage a 40 percent win percentage in his 20 games in charge of the country, though he did manage to lead them to the Nehru Cup trophy win in 2012.

3. Stephen Constantine (2002 to 2005, 2015 to 2019)

Stephen Constantine
India v Bahrain - AFC Asian Cup Group A / Matthew Ashton - AMA/GettyImages

Stephen Constantine had two stints as the head coach of the India football team during his managerial career, with the most recent appointment coming in 2015 after Wim Koevermans contract ran out.

The Englishman had a successful second spell in India, leading the country to the 2016 SAFF Championship, 2018 Intercontinental Cup, post which he was named as the Sports Illustrated coach of the year in India.

He resigned in 2019 as the manager, with Constantine taking India from 173 in the FIFA World rankings in March, 2015 to 97 in December, 2018.

"It's been a wonderful journey. We have travelled a long distance together, and the world has seen it all," AIFF president, Praful Patel said on his impact post his resignation.

Note: Igor Stimac is not considered as he is the current coach of India.