‘What’s in a name?’ they say. Names turn heads, and there are few names bigger in world football than Michel Salgado, Director of Dubai Sports City’s Football Academy.
Since retiring as a player, Michel has become a respected figure in the media, regularly appearing on Al Jazeera’s coverage of European football, and in April 2013 he was formally confirmed as the first Director of Football at the Dubai Sports City Football Academy.
A right-back by trade, Salgado was a mainstay in that star-studded Real Madrid team famed for its era of Galacticos such as Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo, David Beckham, Raul Gonzalez, Claude Makelele, Ronaldo, Michael Owen, Iker Casillas and of course, Salgado himself.
Salgado’s 10 years at the Santiago Bernabeu saw him earn cult status with the Madrid faithful. During his time at the capital, he earned a plethora of glittering silverware, including two Champions League trophies in 2000 and 2002, four Spanish Primera Liga titles, three Spanish Super Cups, one Intercontinental Cup and one UEFA Super Cup.
After 15 years in Spain, Salgado moved to England and spent three seasons with Premier League outfit Blackburn Rovers, for whom he made played 73 times, scoring once.
A tough-tackling no-nonsense defender who gave it as much as he did during training as he did on the pitch, Salgado represented his native Spain on 53 occasions, playing for his country at the 2000 European Championships and during the 2006 FIFA World Cup.