Marcelo Salas, nicknamed “El Matador”, is a former Chilean soccer player and legend of the country’s king of sports. Here, we will review his successful career, focusing on his stage in the game. Take a look at Marcelo Salas’ biography!

Marcelo Salas biography

The index

  • University of Chile debut

  • Lazio’s idol: Marcelo Salas

  • El Matador and the legend

University of Chile debut

In the Chilean city of Toluca, José Marcelo Salas Melinao was born on December 24, 1974. The son of Alicia Melinao and Rosemberg Salas, he has a brother named Joel. Marcelo’s life has always revolved around one thing: football success.

On April 10, 1993, Universidad de Chile defeated Colchagua 1-0 in a match that fulfilled his dream of making his professional debut. Likewise, he made his Chilean national team debut against Maradona’s Argentina in May 1994.

The “U” broke a 25-year drought without winning a championship by lifting the National Championship in 1994 and 1995 under Marcelo Salas. It was only in 1996 that “El Matador” came close to winning the most important South American trophy for clubs with University Catholic, having lost to River Plate in the semifinals.

The same year, he signed for River Plate for $3.6 million, which was an impressive sum for the time. The first goal Marcelo Salas scored with River could not have come at a better time, since he debuted with Boca Juniors on the same day. The market value of “El Matador” increased during the two seasons that he played for Millonarios.

Lazio’s idol: Marcelo Salas

Marcelo Salas was signed by Lazio for 17.5 million dollars in 1998. A future Ballon d’Or winner, Pavel Nedved, would share his dressing room.

Salas’ greatest success with Lazio came in the 1999-2000 season, when Lazio won the Serie A title, Salas leading the team with 12 goals. “El Matador” had scored a goal against Manchester United a few months earlier to lift the European Super Cup for the Roman club.

Please note

Chile never won a major title despite his great success at club level. In fact, he played in only one World Cup, scoring four goals, which could not prevent the “Red” from losing to Brazil in the round of 16.

Juventus of Turin ultimately acquired his services in the 2001 transfer market, despite Real Madrid’s interest.

Despite his previous success, he did not repeat it with “La Vecchia Signora.” Salas only scored two goals in 32 games with Juve.

El Matador’s legend

That is why he returned to River Plate in 2003, where he improved his goals but failed to achieve the success he once enjoyed. Even so, he missed the semifinals of the Copa Libertadores in 2005.

Marcelo Salas decides to return to University of Chile, the club he has always held dear to his heart. A 3-2 victory over Cobreloa marked his retirement from professional football on November 23, 2008.

David Trezeguet, Iván Zamorano, Enzo Francescoli, and David Pizarro are among the world-class players who will play in his tribute match on June 2, 2009.

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