The will to succeed

Published : Apr 29, 2010 00:00 IST

Michel Salgado's days of lifting silverware look to be numbered as the ambitions of his current club, Blackburn Rovers is somewhat tempered compared to those of Real Madrid where he had a glorious 10-year spell, winning two UEFA Champions Leagues medals, four Spanish La Liga titles, three Spanish Supercups an Intercontinental Cup and one European Super Cup. Over to Adam Calverley.

The 34-year-old Michel Salgado came to Blackburn Rovers on a free transfer in August 2009 after spending 10 years playing amid the glitz and the glamour of Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Salgado impressed manager Sam Allardyce whilst on trial and has recently declared that Rovers will be his final European club, saying: “It's a great end of my career and I am enjoying the Premier League and the culture of football in England, and I enjoy Blackburn.”

During a star-studded career, Miguel Angel Salgado Fernandez — known to all football fans as Michel Salgado — has had the pleasure of playing alongside the world's best, while boosting his trophy cabinet with two UEFA Champions Leagues medals, four Spanish La Liga titles, three Spanish Supercups an Intercontinental Cup and one European Super Cup. Not a bad haul at all!

However, his days of lifting silverware look to be numbered as the ambitions of his current club are somewhat tempered compared to those of Real. Blackburn count EPL survival as their number one target every season, not conquering European and domestic football.

However, Salgado, capped 53 times by Spain, is settling into life in England, and has been widely praised for his contribution. Salgado is known for his uncompromising attitude to the game, flying up the flanks and general aggression. These attributes allowed the hard full-back to make 254 appearances for Madrid. He made his debut for Rovers as a substitute against Wolverhampton Wanderers in September and scored his first goal for the club in an English League Cup tie against Peterborough United on his way to cementing his status as a regular starter, with the majority of his 16 appearances coming since February.

Allardyce's men have achieved their aim of survival with games to spare, but a determined goalless draw against reigning champions Manchester United recently highlighted the undoubted spirit that still exists within the Rovers ranks. Salgado is as much a part of this as anyone else.

His international career did not get off to the best of starts though as Spain lost 2-3 Cyprus in a Euro 2000 qualifying match in September 1998, but he went on to represent Spain in the 2000 European Championships and 2006 World Cup. Injuries prevented Salgado from representing Spain in the 2002 World Cup and 2004 European Championships. He missed out on the national side's success at the European Championships in 2008 as he had retired from international football in 2006.

Many thought his switch to Blackburn may accelerate thoughts of retirement domestically as well, but Salgado is proving that he still has the will to succeed even after all these years. And there is no better club suited to battling spirits than Rovers.

Salgado is married to Malula Sanz, daughter of former Real Madrid president Lorenzo Sanz. The Spaniard has been spotted in many a 4x4.

FactfileName: Michel SalgadoPosition: DefenderClub: Blackburn RoversD.O.B: 22/10/1975Spain Caps: 53Spain Goals: 0Spain Debut: v Cyprus, September 5, 1998Moment to remember

Winning the Champions League on two occasions in 2000 and 2002 is pretty special.

Moment to forget

Salgado had a dressing room bust-up with David Dunn after Blackburn's victory over Birmingham City in Marchthis year. Manager Sam Allardyce sorted the pair out though: “They were having a bit of a tussle in the changing room. I'm not sure what the interpretation was between English and Spanish.”

© PA Sport, 2010, All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, re-written, re-distributed or commercially exploited. Sportstar is not responsible for any inaccuracy in the material.

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