The Englishman engaged in a Twitter conversation that sparked curiosity among Indian football fans.
When one speaks of revamps in Indian football, the most recent era that fans think of is that under Stephen Constantine. Any tale of the country’s football since the turn of the millennium will have Constantine play a vital role in it. The 59-year-old was at the helm for two coaching stints in the country and was instrumental in leading the national team to the AFC Asian Cup in 2019. Under him, the country made immense progress and reached the top 100 in FIFA’s World Rankings (Men) and also won their seventh SAFF Championship title.
He is one of the most revered coaching figures in Indian football. From restructuring a broken system in the first stint (2002-05) to remarkable accolades in the second (2015-19), he did it all. However, Constantine resigned after an unfortunate last-minute turnaround in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup’s final group stage game against Bahrain.
Nonetheless, these days Constantine is an active figure on Twitter, where he engages on a variety of topics — both about Indian and world football. Recently, he posted an article titled “The Evolution of the India National Football Team 2015-2019.”
This is a 2019 article that reminisces about his tenure with notable achievements, developments and statistics. As an obvious result, with two international friendlies coming up — the tweet stirred up some conversations.
On his commitment to India
Firstly, a fan spoke about improvements under him and credited the upcoming friendlies to Stephen Constantine’s coaching. Alongside such praise, the fan also asked him if he’d join the national side once again. To this, he replied, “India is in my blood, if she calls me I will come…,” thereby showcasing his dedication and initiating multiple other conversations beside it.
Crediting fans & players
Another fan stated that the entire credit for the Indian national team’s evolution from 2015-19 went to Constantine himself. Firmly denying this and crediting the quality of players and passionate fans at his disposal, he stated, “No, I cannot accept that, I had a group of players who gave me everything, an amazing staff and the AIFF, who gave me the free hand and the power to make a difference. In short, it was an unbelievable effort from everyone and last but not least, the support of most of the fans.”
Citing reason for departure
Lastly, replying to another tweet about his dismissal, allegedly due to political pressure, the Englishman rejected such a theory. “No, not true, I had worked 6 years ( 4 in India) away from my family and needed a break. No political pressure from anyone, just the realization that I had 3 little girls and a wife that I had not seen ..,” he expressed. However, it did lead to some counterarguments and propositions from fans.
Subsequently, replying to an apology by the same user, he stated, “That’s OK there are a lot of false truths out there….,” thereby ending the segment in a sort of cliffhanger.
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