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Indian Football Team

List of all Indian football team head coaches to-date

Published at :June 19, 2024 at 1:54 PM
Modified at :June 19, 2024 at 1:54 PM
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Keshava Verma


The Indian football team are on the hunt for a new tactician after Igor Stimac’s contract termination.

Since Independence from colonial rule, the Indian football team has undergone quite a treacherous path. From the highs of being regarded as the ‘Brazil of Asia,’ to the lows of constant upsets and incompetence of the football authorities, India’s overall football journey has seemed to go on a downward trend in recent years. 

To-date, there have been 29 different head coaches for the Indian football team, out of which 11 have been foreigners. 

Englishman Bert Flatley was the first foreign manager to take the Indian football team’s charge, but his stint was rather short-lived. He was on the sidelines for only three games, all of which were losses. 

To-date, the most successful head coach for India has been Syed Abdul Rahim, who led the Indian football team to gold at both the 1951 and 1962 Asian Games, while also achieving a fourth-place finish at the 1956 Summer Olympics. Rahim and his men also garnered a lot of plaudits recently, with the release of a biopic of the legendary Indian head coach and his journey towards Asian glory. 

In recent times, however, it was Stephen Constantine who was very much accredited as the person who helped reignite the passion and belief in the Indian football team. Constantine’s first stint was from 2002-2005. 

The Englishman returned to the center stage 10 years later, when Indian football was practically at its lowest, with an all-time low FIFA ranking of 173. Under him, the team remained unbeaten for two years from June 2016 to March 2018, winning 11 matches and drawing two, which helped them qualify for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup. He also helped the team to reach a better FIFA ranking of 96 in July 2017, which was the best in the last 21 years.

Now, with Igor Stimac’s departure, India will look to make a fresh start to their Asian dream as well as the dream of making it to the World Cup. What the Indian football team now needs is someone who can bring a new philosophy to the national setup and take the country of 1.6 billion people to the football status that it deserves. 

List of all Indian football team managers

Pankaj Gupta (1938)
Balaidas Chatterjee (1948)
Syed Abdul Rahim (1951–1952)
Balaidas Chatterjee (1953)
Syed Abdul Rahim (1954)
Balaidas Chatterjee (1954)
Bert Flatley (1955)
Saroj Bose (1955)
Syed Abdul Rahim (1956–1962)
T. Shome (1958)
Sailendra Nath Manna (1961)
G. M. Pentiah (1963)
Harry Wright (1964)
Mohammed Hussain (1964–1967)
Sachindranath Mitra (1966)
S. R. Deb (1967)
Sailendra Nath Manna (1968)
Jarnail Singh (1969)
G. M. H. Basha (1970–1971)
P. K. Banerjee (1971–1974)
J. Krishnaswamy (1974)
G. M. H. Basha (1975)
Jarnail Singh (1976)
Sahu Mewalal (1977)
G. M. H. Basha (1977)
Arun Ghosh (1978)
Jarnail Singh (1980)
P. K. Banerjee (1981–1982)
Bob Bootland (1982)
Muhammad Salaam (1983)
Joe Kinnear (1983)
Milovan Ćirić (1983–1985)
Arun Ghosh (1984 – 1985)
P. K. Banerjee (1985–1986)
Syed Nayeemuddin (1987−1989)
Amal Dutta (1987)
Anjan Chowdhury (1989)
József Gelei (1990–1991)
Derek D’Souza (1992–1993)
Jiří Pešek (1993−1994)
Rustam Akramov (1995−1996)
Syed Nayeemuddin (1997–1998)
Sukhwinder Singh (1999–2001)
Islam Ahmedov (2001)
Stephen Constantine (2002–2005)
Sukhwinder Singh (2005)
Syed Nayeemuddin (2005–2006)
Bob Houghton (2006–2011)
Armando Colaco (2011)
Savio Medeira (2011–2012)
Wim Koevermans (2012–2015)
Stephen Constantine (2015–2019)
Igor Štimac (2019−2024)

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