La Liga has announced the appointment of Maite Ventura as its new Managing Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

Ventura will take over from Fernando Sanz, who recently left the role to become Director of International Institutional Relations and Director of the league’s Ambassadors and Legends Project.

The role, based in Dubai, will see Ventura report to La Liga’s International Director – Oscar Mayo – and oversee the elevation of the league’s brand and accessibility throughout the Middle East.

“La Liga is the most popular international competition in the region and we have a big opportunity to continue to strengthen our global presence as well as the engagement with our fans in the Middle East and North Africa,” she said.

“I am very excited to be part of this team as I believe we have a very bright future ahead of us in this part of the world.”

La Liga currently holds 11 global offices, employing 45 delegates and gaining an overall outreach of over 80 countries.

Founded in 1984, it already possesses considerable links in the UAE dating back to 2013, when it first opened its doors to offices in Dubai.

New La Liga signings Eden Hazard and Antoine Griezmann will be keen to impress and help further export the league’s brand in the Middle East

The league is seeking to enhance female representation among its staff – a figure currently standing at 30% – with Ventura’s appointment marking a continuation of this trend.

She joined La Liga in 2017, and for the last two years has worked as a delegate for the Dubai office and sought to expand the division’s international development and create business opportunities for its clubs in the region.

Ventura has been involved in several important initiates, most notably the launch of La Liga academies in UAE and Jordan, the advent of the inaugural women-focused football projects in Kuwait, and socio-educational schemes in Jordan’s Zaatari Refugee Camp.

And the outgoing Middle Eastern and North Africa boss was optimistic about her appointment.

“With her extensive experience and hard work in the past two years to help promote the growth of LaLiga in the region, we are extremely excited that Ventura is taking over the steering wheel at one of La Liga’s most strategic markets within the Middle East and North Africa region,” Sanz said.

“I am positive that this move will represent an important step for the development of the competition all over the region.”