Marcelo Salas

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Marcelo Salas
Marcelo Salas.jpg
Salas in 2011
Personal information
Full name José Marcelo Salas Melinao
Date of birth (1974-12-24) 24 December 1974 (age 39)
Place of birth Temuco, Chile
Height 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
Playing position Striker
Youth career
1983–1991 Santos Temuco
1991–1993 Universidad de Chile
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1993–1996 Universidad de Chile 75 (50)
1996–1998 River Plate 53 (24)
1998–2001 Lazio 79 (34)
2001–2005 Juventus 18 (2)
2003–2005 River Plate (loan) 32 (10)
2005–2008 Universidad de Chile 82 (37)
Total 329 (155)
National team
1994–2007 Chile 71 (37)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Salas and the second or maternal family name is Melinao.

José Marcelo Salas Melinao (born 24 December 1974 in Temuco), better known as El Matador, Shileno or simply Marcelo Salas, is a Chilean former football player.

He has played in Chile, Argentina and Italy and has won titles for whom he has played, and was voted South American Footballer of the Year in 1997. Well known his deft touch with his left foot and aerial ability, Salas had a prolific goalscoring record, and is the all-time top goalscorer for the Chilean national team. He appeared for the team at the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France, where he scored four goals in four matches. As well as that World Cup, Salas played for Chile at two Copa América tournaments.

Career[edit]

Universidad de Chile[edit]

Salas was a youth product of the Deportes Temuco youth team until his father took him to Santiago de Chile to be incorporated into Universidad de Chile, the chilean club with the highest average attendance in the country.

Salas made his debut playing for Universidad de Chile in 1993 and became a starter on 4 January 1994 against Cobreloa where he would also score a goal. Salas helped the team win back to back titles in 1994 and 1995 leaving a trail of 74 goals which included a strong 1996 campaign in the Copa Libertadores.

River Plate[edit]

Later in 1996, Salas moved on to Argentina to play with River Plate of the Argentine first division, a move that was met with some criticism by the Argentine press as a Chile born player had never really had an impact playing in Argentina. The move was also criticised by Argentine great Diego Maradona as Salas was scouted by arch rival Boca Juniors prior to joining River. Salas quickly silenced his critics and won over Argentine fans, as a major contributor to one of the club's greatest runs ever. From 1996–1998 Salas scored 26 goals in 51 games, helping River to win the Torneo de Apertura 1996, the Clausura 1997, the Apertura 1997 and the 1997 Supercopa Sudamericana. These accomplishments would cement his legacy in Argentina as one of its greatest foreign born players earning the nickname, "El shileno (sic) Salas".

Lazio and Juventus[edit]

In the same year, on the strength of his performances both in Argentina and the World Cup, he was sold to S.S. Lazio in Italy for US$18 million.[citation needed]

Salas played in Italy for five years, three with S.S. Lazio (1998–2001), a key catalyst in helping turn around a Lazio team that hadn't won a Scudetto since the 1973–1974 season. His first Serie A appearance was on 4 October 1998. He scored his first goal playing for Lazio a few days later against Inter. With Lazio he won an Italian cup, a Cup Winners' Cup and a European Super Cup, scoring the match's only goal in the latter, in a 1-0 win over Manchester United. In 2001 he was transferred to Juventus (for cash plus Darko Kovačević[1]) where Salas would endure the worst moments of his career; he was hampered by injuries, allowing him to participate in only 14 games and scoring just 2 goals.

Return to River Plate[edit]

In 2003 Salas was loaned back to River Plate[2] but was unable to regain his old form as he was still hampered by injuries. Constantly in and out of the lineup and only able to score 17 goals in 43 matches Salas considered retiring from football, but decided he would make one final push with River. His return would spark River to a semi-final appearance in the Copa Libertadores (Salas scoring a hat-trick en route) but they lost to eventual champions Sao-Paulo.

Universidad de Chile[edit]

In late July 2005, it was confirmed that he would return to his original football team, Universidad de Chile,[3] and the never-ending love of the fans of Universidad de Chile for Salas was evident. Although the press was tough on him for being an injury-prone player (Salas played just 10 games in 2005), he carried Universidad de Chile to the cup finals. The 2005 final was decided on a shootout, won by Universidad Católica. After retirement rumors flourished in the summer of 2006, Salas began campaign with Universidad de Chile and led the team to the final one more time, which saw Universidad de Chile dropping the title to archrivals Colo-Colo on penalties.

After a 6-month layoff, Salas confirmed he would return to his beloved team with a contract for a year and a half, thus continuing the whirl-wind that has been his career.

Salas announced his retirement on 26 November 2008, at the age of 33.

International career[edit]

In 1994, Salas debuted for the Chile national football team as a 19-year-old, scoring his first international goal in a 3–3 draw with Argentina.

During the 1998 World Cup qualification campaign, Salas scored 11 times, including hat-tricks against Colombia and Peru, as the team qualified for the finals for the first time since 1982.[4]

In the build up to the 1998 World Cup finals, Salas scored both goals as Chile beat England 2–0 in a friendly match at Wembley Stadium. At the tournament, Salas scored four times in four matches. His two goals against Italy gave la Roja a 2–2 draw with the 1994 runners-up. He scored a consolation goal as Chile were defeated 4–1 by Brazil in the second round.[4]

Due to his injury problems, Salas's appearances for Chile became limited after the 1999 Copa América. He scored four goals in nine appearances during the team's unsuccessful 2002 World Cup qualification campaign and during the 2006 World Cup qualifiers overtook Iván Zamorano as the nation's all-time top goalscorer with his 35th goal against Bolivia.[4]

On 18 November 2007, Salas scored his final goals for Chile during qualification for the 2010 World Cup, as la Roja drew 2–2 with Uruguay.[4]

Retirement[edit]

Salas played his farewell game on 2 June 2009. Amongst the invited players were his friends from the 1993–1996 Universidad de Chile squads, River Plate, Juventus, plus members of Chile's France '98 World Cup squad. More than 50,000 people showed up to pay him one final salute. Playing for both sides, he managed to score three goals.[5]

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Individual[edit]

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list Chile's goal tally first.
# Date Venue Opponent Result Competition Scored
1 1994-05-18 Santiago  Argentina 3–3 International Match 1
2 1995-03-29 Los Angeles  Mexico 2–1 International Match 1
3 1995-04-22 Temuco  Iceland 1–1 International Match 1
4 1995-05-28 Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton  Canada 2–1 Canada Cup 1
5 1995-10-11 Concepción  Canada 2–0 International Match 1
6 1996-02-14 Coquimbo  Peru 4–0 International Match 1
8 1996-05-26 Santiago  Bolivia 2–0 International Match 2
9 1996-07-06 Santiago  Ecuador 4–1 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification 1
10 1996-08-25 Liberia  Costa Rica 1–1 International Match 1
11 1996-11-12 Santiago  Uruguay 1–0 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification 1
12 1997-06-08 Quito  Ecuador 1–1 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification 1
15 1997-07-05 Santiago  Colombia 4–1 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification 3
16 1997-09-10 Santiago  Argentina 1–2 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification 1
19 1997-10-12 Santiago  Peru 4–0 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification 3
20 1997-11-16 Santiago  Bolivia 3–0 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification 1
22 1998-02-11 Wembley Stadium, London  England 2–0 International Match 2
23 1998-04-22 Santiago  Colombia 2–2 International Match 1
24 1998-05-24 Santiago  Uruguay 2–2 International Match 1
25 1998-05-31 Montélimar  Tunisia 3–2 International Match 1
26 1998-06-04 Avignon  Morocco 1–1 International Match 1
28 1998-06-11 Parc Lescure, Bordeaux  Italy 2–2 1998 FIFA World Cup 2
29 1998-06-17 Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint-Étienne  Austria 1–1 1998 FIFA World Cup 1
30 1998-06-27 Parc des Princes, Paris  Brazil 1–4 1998 FIFA World Cup 1
31 2000-06-29 Estadio Nacional de Chile, Santiago  Paraguay 3–1 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification 1
32 2000-08-15 Estadio Nacional de Chile, Santiago  Brazil 3–0 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification 1
34 2001-08-14 Estadio Nacional de Chile, Santiago  Bolivia 2–2 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification 2
35 2005-06-04 Estadio Nacional de Chile, Santiago  Bolivia 3–1 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification 1
37 2007-11-18 Estadio Centenario, Montevideo  Uruguay 2–2 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification 2

Career statistics[edit]

Club performance League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Chile League Copa Chile South America Total
1993 Universidad de Chile Primera División 15 1 15 1
1994 25 27 15 12 6 2 46 41
1995 27 17 4 0 7 5 38 22
1996 10 5 5 2 12 5 27 12
Argentina League Cup South America Total
1996–97 River Plate Primera División 26 11 - 4 0 30 11
1997–98 27 13 - 10 7 37 20
Italy League Coppa Italia Europe Total
1998–99 Lazio Serie A 30 15 7 5 6 3 43 23
1999–00 28 12 3 0 11 5 42 17
2000–01 21 7 2 1 9 0 32 8
2001–02 Juventus Serie A 7 1 2 0 2 0 11 1
2002–03 11 1 2 1 2 1 15 3
Argentina League Cup South America Total
2003–04 River Plate Primera División 17 6 - 4 2 21 8
2004–05 15 4 - 7 5 22 9
Chile League Copa Chile South America Total
2005 Universidad de Chile Primera División 10 5 - 10 5
2006 28 13 - 28 13
2007 14 8 - 14 8
2008 30 11 30 11
Total Chile 159 87 21 14 25 12 208 113
Argentina 85 34 25 14 110 48
Italy 97 36 16 7 30 9 143 52
Career total 333 155 40 21 80 35 453 248[6]

[7][8]

Chile national team
Year Apps Goals
1994 3 1
1995 12 4
1996 11 6
1997 7 9
1998 10 10
1999 5 0
2000 7 2
2001 2 2
2002 0 0
2003 0 0
2004 4 0
2005 3 1
2006 0 0
2007 6 2
Total 70 37

References[edit]

External links[edit]