Stephen Constantine reveals his best moment with Pakistan football team

He took the reins of the team in September 2023

By Web Desk
June 02, 2024
Constantine have experience of coaching teams of Malawi, Sudan, Rwanda and India.- PFF

Pakistan head coach Stephen Constantine sat down with FIFA and discussed his 25-year journey with football and coaching the Green Shirts currently

Constantine was appointed Pakistan’s head coach in September 2023 having experience of coaching teams of Malawi, Sudan, Rwanda and India.

Two weeks after Constantine arrived and took the coaching helm, Pakistan were due to play against Cambodia in the World Cup preliminaries.

They managed to win by 1-0 at home in Islamabad making it the first time Pakistan won a game in the FIFA World Cup Qualifier.

Constantine called it one of the best moments for him, “That was one of my best moments, that’s why we do it,” stated the coach. “Maybe not the performance, but for the impact it had on the country as a whole. Even people who don't know anything about football were excited. I think that was massive and obviously, we made history, so at least they’ll remember me!”

Constantine’s men were then grouped with Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan and Jordan all of whom sit 96 spots above Pakistan on the FIFA World Ranking.

Pakistan saw an early elimination at the hands of such stronger teams than them with two more rounds of fixtures to go.

“I don’t think we could have gotten a tougher draw than that,” he said. “These remaining games are preparation for the Asian Cup, which we want to qualify for, but to do that we need games. “We’re not preparing like other teams. I have 21 boys, who haven’t played regular football, they don’t get coached or play on a regular basis, and we’ll be facing Saudi Arabia who train every day and have every possible facility. 

The country, team and Constantine still have much to look forward to with Saudi Arabia visiting for a match on June 6 and the preparations for the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers on the line.

Constantine added that they are ready to face Saudi Arabia by putting up the players from the Under-19 and 21 groups.

“I’m trying to put the foundations in place. We are getting younger in every camp – there’s a 15-and-a-half-year-old in the current squad. We’re putting the U-19s and U-21s together and adding other guys in. We are going to try to be competitive in every game. It’s Saudi, they’re a massive team, but they are going to come here and play on a nice bumpy ground and we’ll give them hell!”

Before he was appointed head coach of the country, the national football team of Pakistan had failed to win a single game in the qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup, the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) was going through hurdles and crisis and FIFA had suspended the PFF from 2017 to 2018 due to third-party involvement.

Constantine added that coaching for Pakistan is a privilege, “We had an AFC conference the other day and they were talking about what an honour it is to be the coach of your own national team, and then to think what it must mean to bring in someone who is not from that country to manage theirs. For that person, in my case Pakistan, how much of an honour is it that they’ve come to me out of 250-odd million people and said they want you to be our coach? For me, that's a privilege.”