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A defensive midfielder also capable of lining up at the back, Cabrera made his debut with Necaxa during the club's title-winning 1994-95 season. He also appeared in the club's successful championship defense the following year, but only became a regular starter during the Invierno 1997 season. During the Invierno 1998 season, Cabrera won his third championship and his first as a major contributor, scoring the championship-winning goal in the final with a long-range shot against Chivas. He joined Atlante in 2001 but returned to Necaxa in 2002, helping the club to a place in the Verano 2002 final. Afterward Necaxa fell into decline, and Cabrera's role began to diminish by the middle of the decade. His last top-flight appearances for the club came in the Clausura 2007 tournament.
Cabrera also participated for Necaxa in international club events. He appeared in the final of the 1999 CONCACAF Champions' Cup, which Necaxa won against LD Alajuelense of Costa Rica. In addition, Cabrera participated in the 2000 FIFA Club World Cup and scored in the game against South Melbourne FC.
He also earned 10 caps for the Mexico national team, all of them under the direction of former Necaxa coach Manuel Lapuente. Cabrera's first cap came in Los Angeles on February 10, 1999 against Argentina. He made one appearance at the 1999 Copa América, replacing Gerardo Torrado in a 3-1 victory over Venezuela on July 6. Cabrera's last cap came at the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup on February 20, 2000, when Mexico was eliminated from the tournament in a 2-1 golden goal defeat against Canada.
- MedioTiempo. "Salvador Cabrera - Necaxa". Retrieved on January 17, 2013.
- MedioTiempo. "Chivas 0 - 2 Necaxa". Retrieved on January 17, 2013.
- Stats at soccernet.espn
- Leon, Vincent. "Copa de Campeones y Subcampeones CONCACAF 1999 - Details Final Tournament". RSSSF, April 13, 2003. Retrieved on January 17, 2013.
- S Melbourne 1-3 Necaxa match report - BBC 09/01/00
- Morrison, Neil. "International Matches 1999 - Intercontinental". RSSSF, February 2, 2005. Retrieved on January 17, 2013.
- Tabeira, Martín. "Copa América 1999". RSSSF, May 31, 2012. Retrieved on January 17, 2013.
- Courtney, Barrie. "CONCACAF Championship, Gold Cup 2000 - Full Details". RSSSF, November 19, 2005. Retrieved on January 17, 2013.