MADRID (Reuters) -- Ambitious Malaga have appointed former Spain sporting director Fernando Hierro as general manager, the La Liga club said on Thursday.

Hierro, who alongside coach Vicente del Bosque helped steer Spain to World Cup glory in South Africa last year, will take up his new post next month, Malaga said in a statement on their website (

Malaga-born Hierro, a former Real Madrid and Spain player who also had a brief stint at English Premier league club Bolton Wanderers, stepped down from his role with the Spanish soccer federation (RFEF) at the end of last month.

Malaga, on Spain's southern coast, were bought by a member of the Qatari royal family at the end of the 2009-10 campaign and have been the busiest Spanish club in the transfer market since the end of last season.

Managed by former Real Madrid coach Manuel Pellegrini, they have landed eight new players, including Dutch striker Ruud van Nistelrooy, and have their eyes set on challenging for a place in European competition next season.

"At one point I said I would like to take a year out but the only alternative that made me move so quickly was the excitement of accepting the challenge at Malaga, my home," the 43-year-old Hierro said.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.