Vladimir Petkovic did a great job by getting Switzerland into the Euro 2016

Former Lazio manager Vladimir Petkovic did a great job by getting Switzerland into the Euro 2016. He has been rewarded for this fine job with a new contract from the Swiss FA.

The extension signed by the manager will see him stay as national team coach until 2017. This will cover most of the qualifying matches for the World Cup 2018. The manager, however, will receive a straightforward extension if he manages to get the national team into the World Cup 2018 as well.

Petkovic had huge shoes to fill when he was succeeding Ottmar Hitzfeld, who is one of the most successful coaches after having won the Champions League twice in his career. Many did not see the Bosnian born manager as an ideal solution to lead the national team.Hitzfeld from his role as the manager of Switzerland after the World Cup 2014. Qualification is just one part of the success that Petkovic has achieved. He will have to do well with Switzerland in the Euro 2016. Preparations for this tournament is under full swing with Switzerland taking on Republic of Ireland and Bosnia in two friendly matches in March. This will be followed by friendly matches against Belgium and Moldova in May and June before the tournament begins.

Switzerland are in the group containing Albania, Romania, and France. The hosts are expected to be one of the favourites to qualify from the group directly with Switzerland being the next favourites to seal the final qualification spot. This tournament will be followed by the World Cup 2018 qualifying matches which will begin in September. Switzerland start their campaign with a home game against Portugal. The qualification campaign includes six teams in group out of which the winner gets automatically qualified for the tournament. Other strong teams in the group include Hungary.