Remembering Marcelo 'El Matador' Salas, A Chile Soccer Legend
Marcelo Salas

Marcelo 'El Matador' Salas is one of the best players of fútbol in Chilean history, as he scored numerous outstanding goals and is the all time leading goal scorer in Chilean National Team history.

Salas had a chiasticly-structured career. He started his professional career as a member of Santiago, Chile's own Universidad de Chile in 1993. By the end of his first tenure with Los Azules, El Matador had led his club to back-to-back league titles in 1994 and 1995, and left the club after 1996 with an outstanding tally of 74 goals in his young and promising career.

For the '96-'97 season, Marcelo Salas moved to Argentine first division club River Plate, but lots of criticism ensued, as a Chilean-born player had never impacted the Argentine league greatly, and rival Boca Juniors had previously scouted Salas before River Plate swooped him up. From 1996 to 1998, El Matador scored 26 goals in 51 matches and led Plate to wins in 1996 Torneo de Apretura, 1997 Clausura, 1997 Apertura, and the 1997 Supercopa Sudamericana.

In 1998, Italian side Lazio bought Salas for a whopping $18 million. He spent three years at Lazio, scoring a frenzy of goals en route to victorious campaigns in an Italian Cup, a Cup Winners' Cup, and a European Super Cup (in which he scored the lone winning goal against Manchester United of the English Premier League).

After the 2001 season, Salas stayed in Italy, transferring to Serie A side Juventus. With the Juve, Salas was plagued by injury, and made less than 15 appearances and scored a mere duo of goals for Juventus before leaving the club.

In 2003, El Matador went on loan back to River Plate, where again injuries ensued, yet Salas managed to score 17 goals in 43 matches. In mid-2005, Salas finally decided to return to his original club, Uni. de Chile, where he led La U to two straight playoff title match appearances, both which were lost unfortunately. After finishing his career at his two first clubs, El Matador ended his career in 2008, when he was a mere 33 years old.

A staple goal that sealed the nickname 'El Matador' came in February 1998 in an international win over England. The commentator repeatedly stated 'Matador' after the goal was scored by Marcelo, engraving the moment in Chilean soccer history.

Muy bueno para, para salas!

Salas el matador! Matador Matador! Matador! Matador! Marcelo Salas! Allí está!

El Matador scored 37 times in 70 caps for La Roja from 1994 to 2007. That is a national team record, and puts him atop the list of Chilean legends in terms of scoring.

Salas was a fantastic player, and now his legacy can be passed on to the current Chilean squad, who are attempting a run at 2015 Copa America victory.

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