Portuguese coach Paulo Sousa has been officially announced as new boss of French side Girondins de Bordeaux, signing a 4-year contract with the Ligue 1 club on Friday.
The well-travelled manager had been out of work since leaving Chinese club Tianjin Quanjian in November. Sousa replaces former Benfica defender Ricardo Gomes, who was sacked towards the end of last month, and becomes Bordeaux’s third coach of the season with Gus Poyet having left the club just after the start of the campaign.
Sousa had been linked with a host of jobs during his time out of the game, including recently being considered for the position at AS Roma in Italy. However, the 48-year-old was presented to the media on Friday evening by Bordeaux president Joseph DaGrosa.
“We are confident that Paulo Sousa will bring all our fans the pleasure they expect from coming to the stadium to see their team play, and achieve the ambitious goals we have given them,” DaGrosa told the attending journalists.
For his part, Sousa said: “The vision of my job in Bordeaux, as with all of the clubs I have trained, will be to create and develop a philosophy and a game identity that reflect our history and is sustainable in the future.”
Bordeaux are the 9th club of Sousa’s career, which has been marked by the wide variety of countries the Portuguese has worked in. Although never having coached a club in his homeland, Sousa worked with the Seleção at youth and senior level before beginning his career as a senior coach with three jobs in English football: Queens Park Rangers, Welsh club Swansea City and Leicester City.
After leaving England, Sousa worked in Hungary (Videoton), Israel (Maccabi Tel-Aviv), Switzerland (FC Basel) and Italy (Fiorentina), before heading to China last year. Sousa has won league titles in three countries, becoming national champion with Videoton, Maccabi and Basel.
As a player, Sousa’s career was a glittering one, with the stylish midfielder winning multiple trophies – including two Champions Leagues – across his spells with Benfica, Juventus and Borussia Dortmund. A winner of the FIFA Under-20 World Cup with Portugal in 1989, Sousa represented his country on 52 occasions.
Bordeaux currently sit 13th in Ligue 1, having lost five of their last seven matches. Next up for Sousa’s new club is a trip to Leonardo Jardim’s revitalised Monaco on Saturday evening.
By Sean Gillen