Spain announce ex-Newcastle flop Albert Luque will become sporting director after World Cup humiliation | The Sun

ALBERT Luque will take over as Spain's sporting director after their last-16 elimination in the World Cup.

Luque, 44, will be replacing Jose Francisco Molina in January, the Royal Spanish Football Federation revealed.

The statement read " Official | Albert Luque, new director of @SEFutbol.

"Jose Francisco Molina will leave the sports management of the @RFEF in January 2023"

Despite having played mostly in his home nation for the majority his career, it's his two-year stint at Newcastle United which many fans will remember Luque for.

After impressing in La Liga with Mallorca, Deportivo La Coruna and Malaga, the Spaniard completed his £9million move to the Magpies in 2005.

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After a first season riddled with poor form and injury, Luque eventually scored his first goal for the side in April, nine months after signing.

His second season didn't see much improvement, with the forward losing out on his number seven jersey to team-mate Joey Barton before falling down the pecking order and often playing with the reserve team.

His nightmare ended in 2007 when he was sold to Ajax after scoring just three goals in 34 appearances for the Premier League side.

With his playing career finishing in 2011, this will be the biggest role Luque has taken since, as the Spanish national team face a major shake up following the departure of manager Luis Enrique.

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Luis Enrique was sacked after penalty loss to Morocco in the last-16Credit: EPA

The changes come after a poor showing in the World Cup which saw the 2010 winners eliminated in the round of 16, losing to underdogs Morocco on penalties.

Although starting off the tournament strong with a 7-0 thrashing of Costa Rica, the fate of the 'La Furia Roja' swiftly declined as a 1-1 draw with Germany followed by a 2-1 loss to Japan resulted in them finishing second in their group.

The disappointment of their early exit was the reason for Luis Enrique's departure after four years in charge. In his place comes Luis De La Fuente, the former U21 manager.

De La Fuente's first games in charge will come in March when they take on Norway and Scotland as they hope to book their place in Germany for the 2024 Euros.

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