Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic leaves to join Bordeaux

BERN, Switzerland (AP) — After leading Switzerland to the European Championship quarterfinals, coach Vladimir Petkovic left Tuesday to join French club Bordeaux.

The Swiss soccer federation announced his exit late Tuesday after seven years in charge in which the national team advanced to the finals tournament at each competition it entered.

Petkovic’s work with the Swiss peaked last month by stunning world champion France in the round of 16 at Euro 2020. Trailing 3-1 in the closing minutes, Switzerland leveled then won a penalty shootout.

The Swiss then lost another penalty shootout to Spain after a 1-1 draw.

Bordeaux said Petkovic signed a three-year contract with the team that finished mid-table in Ligue 1 last season then was threatened with demotion for financial issues.

“Recruiting such a coach with such an aura and such a resume is also proof of our ambition for this season,” Bordeaux’s new president Gerard Lopez said in a statement.

The club’s previous ownership group, United States-based King Street, withdrew after 18 months in charge.

Bordeaux last won the French league title in 2009.

Petkovic, who is originally from Bosnia-Herzegovina, previously coached Rome’s Lazio and Young Boys in Switzerland.

Switzerland next plays European champion Italy at home on Sept. 5 in their qualifying group for the 2022 World Cup. Only the group winner advances directly to the tournament in Qatar. The runner-up goes to a playoff round in March.

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