Alexander Frei, Switzerland's all-time leading scorer, is to sever his ties with FC Basel 1893 earlier than expected in order to take over as FC Luzern's sporting director next month.
The 33-year-old striker announced in November his intention to retire when his contract with the Super League champions expired in June, but has decided to hasten the end of his playing career and will begin his new role on 15 April.
It was anticipated that Frei, a scorer of 42 goals in 84 appearances for his country, would move into youth coaching in the summer – until the offer arrived from the club where he spent two years between 1999 and 2001.
"They [Luzern] are a working man's club, like Borussia Dortmund," said Frei, who will not be involved when league leaders Basel visit Luzern on 1 April. "The longer I pondered this offer, the more I liked it."
Frei has vowed to do "everything to bring FCL back where they belong" – with 12 games of the season remaining, Luzern are second bottom, six points clear of Servette FC. Basel, meanwhile, can look forward to a UEFA Europa League quarter-final against Tottenham Hotspur FC on 4 and 11 April.
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