With Gustavo Quinteros at the helm and reinforcements to go for the Copa Libertadores: Colo Colo’s ambitious plan for 2023

in Coquimbo, Colo Colo celebrated the thirty-third star of its history. In the whites there is still a hangover from a celebration that waited for almost five years, the same period in which Chilean soccer was dominated by the Catholic University. It is not for less. It was a turbulent period in which the albos even saw the ghost of the descent appear. In Macul, today there is a mixture of sensations: happiness, and a lot of it, on the one hand; relief in a similar proportion and the obligation to get to work immediately to strengthen the current structure. The last item is the most exciting: in the Cacique they assume that the obligation is to make a qualitative leap that aims to enter the discussion for the next Copa Libertadores. They believe that it is the natural step in a process that has produced sustained progress, but that in the latest version of the continental tournament it was not enough for them to get out of the group stage. The elimination, in that fateful match against Fortalezain the Monumental, still turns in the white heads.

The Cacique 2023 project starts with a code name: Gustavo Quinteros. In Macul they breathe with a certain tranquility, because they interpret that the link with the strategist is automatically renewed by the achievement of the title. It would also be if the albos did not achieve the crown, but did qualify for the main continental tournament. In any case, in Pedreros they aim, more than to the literality of the contract, to seduce the strategist, who appears on the list of candidates for the Independiente bench, with an attractive project. “Talking and developing a serious and professional plan forward. I think he is happy at the club and we are happy with him, so that everything is given for his continuity and I personally hope so. His coaching staff and, despite the obvious that I am going to say, I want to emphasize it, they have done a great job and have been fundamental in obtaining the star 33″, declared to Sporting the president of Black and White, Alfredo Stöhwing.

Another phase of the enchantment to the coach has to do with the economic part: the contract establishes a readjustment of 25 percent of his salary conditions. What is the concern, then? That Quinteros can execute the exit clause, which is estimated at US $ 400 thousand dollars, an accessible amount if he receives a large offer from abroad. He already did it after being champion with UC. In the midst of the euphoria of the celebration, the strategist left a margin for interpretation. “I always give priority to where I am. I met the goal and the contract is still valid. If there is a very big offer, I will analyze it, but I am very happy here”, he raised. In Argentina, Independent awaits him.

Gustavo Quinteros and Gabriel Suazo, in the duel between Colo Colo and Coquimbo Unido. (Photo: Agenciauno)

Quinteros wants to stay in a competitive Colo Colo, now at the international level. For this reason, in the run-up to the duel against Coquimbo Unido, along with acknowledging the pact to which the leadership also alludes, he hinted at his approach to the future. “If the objective is achieved, my contract is valid. I am coach of Colo Colo and this club will be the priority. But where are we going? We have to build goals together and have a common sports project”, he posed.

In this scenario, the next few hours will be decisive. This Wednesday there will be a Black and White board session. “The most important of the last time”, is encouraged to say one of the members of the table of the firm that manages the Cacique, who advances the main point that will be on the table: contract renewals. Among them, naturally, that of the coach. There is one that is decided: the goalkeeper Brayan Corteswho agreed to its continuity, although it also introduced an exit clause that would allow it to go abroad without problems. And one that is a priority, but has not yet been resolved: that of the captain Gabriel Suazo. The left-back has stated his intention to extend the relationship to leave profits for the club in the event of a possible departure.

Then, there is a matter that is decided: execute the purchase option for the pass of Juan Martín Lucero. The cash left by the sale of Pablo Solari to River Plate will allow the operation to be carried out without problems, which implies the payment of US$ 900,000 dollars, a more than convenient figure for a player who, at the point of goals, justified his arrival, for the one that Gustavo Quinteros insisted so much. The trans-Andean inherited the decision from Black and White. “depends on colo colo, I said it already. always up to them”, he established in the middle of the celebrations in pirate lands.

Gabriel Costa, in the duel against Coquimbo Unido
Gabriel Costa, in the duel against Coquimbo Unido (Photo: Agenciauno)

The section on contract extensions and transfers touches, necessarily, another: the quotas for foreign players. In fact, one of the key decisions to be made by Quinteros, the Cacique’s board and the sports manager, Daniel Morón, has to do with the renewal of the bond with Gabriel Costa, the only one of the foreigners whose contract ends. The Peruvian is one of the players most questioned by fans, but he has never lost the support of Quinteros. With figures in hand, it must be said that she has answered: Contributed with nine goals to the albo title. He added two more in the Chile Cup and one in the South American Cup.

If the quotas for foreign players continue to be filled, the search criteria for the new pieces will have to be reoriented. “We will have to look for Chileans”, they warn in Macul. With an addition: “International levell”. As the first needs are placed on a goalkeeper who can compete with Cortés or, if he leaves, replace him, the first name that has emerged is Gabriel Arias. A midfielder who contributes decisively in the creative phase will also be sought, although complying with the profile that Quinteros establishes for the player who is positioned immediately behind the forwards: who is not a 10 ‘postman’, but rather a mixed midfielder who knows solve in the last phase of the field of play, but also to contribute in the work of retreat.

The other priority position is that of a forward, which can be considered as the permanent obsession of the white coach, even more so after Solari’s departure.