Salas says Colo Colo job a dream come true

Santiago, Dec 20 (efe-epa).- Mario Salas said here Thursday he is living out a dream after being selected as the new manager of Chilean club Colo Colo, the Andean nation's most popular and successful club.

Salas said during his official presentation at Estadio Monumental in Santiago that it was a special moment to walk on the club's field in the morning, enter the locker room and see his name on the head coach's chair.

Colo Colo's management confirmed Salas as new head coach on Tuesday, saying he was a Christmas gift for the team's fans.

"The challenge is to come to the country's biggest club and for things to go well," he said.

Salas, a former player for Chile's national team and ex-coach of the country's U-20 squad, has returned to his homeland after leading Sporting Cristal to the 2018 Peruvian league title in his first foreign head coaching job.

The goal is to launch a process that is conducive to success, he said, adding that that could take time but that he is hopeful the club can quickly deliver positive results for the fans.

Colo Colo, winner of a record 32 Chilean-league titles, hired Salas after deciding not to renew the contract of previous coach Hector Tapia.

El Cacique are looking to rebound after stumbling to a fifth-place finish (with a record of 12 wins, seven draws and 11 losses) in their 2018 domestic season and failing to qualify for the 2019 Copa Libertadores.

Colo Colo, who had to settle for a berth in the Copa Sudamericana, will face Ecuadorian club Universidad Catolica in April in the first stage of South America's secondary club soccer tournament.