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Dimitris Salpingidis

Published: Tuesday 17 January 2012, 14.00CET
Published: Tuesday 17 January 2012, 14.00CET

Dimitris Salpingidis


A small, vivacious forward who returned to PAOK FC in 2010 after a four-year stint with Panathinaikos FC, Dimitris Salpingidis made a name for himself in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, scoring the play-off winner against Ukraine and another in South Africa versus Nigeria that was his country's first goal at the finals.

• Born in Thessaloniki, he joined PAOK in 2002 and was quick to impress, scoring 16 league goals in his second season, 14 in his third and a league-best haul of 17 in his fourth; he was also on target six times for the club in the UEFA Cup.

• Awarded his first cap in August 2005, he frustratingly went 15 games without a goal for his country until he scored the winner in a friendly against the Czech Republic 'B' team in Cyprus in February 2008.

• Joined Panathinaikos in August 2006 for €1.8m plus three players and proved his worth immediately with a hat-trick on his debut (in a 4-1 win at Egaleo FC) before going on to become club's top scorer with 14 goals; he increased his output to 15 in 2007/08 and was voted Super League player of the year in both 2008 and 2009.

• After six successive UEFA Cup campaigns, he made his UEFA Champions League debut in 2008/09 and scored his first goal − a penalty − in a 3-1 defeat by Anorthosis Famagusta FC; won the league and cup double with the Greens in 2009/10 before returning to PAOK.

• Scored two goals for Greece in 2010 World Cup qualification, including the decider away to Ukraine in the second leg of the play-off, and added another historic strike against Nigeria at the final tournament; on target just once in nine UEFA EURO 2012 qualifiers − in a 2-1 home triumph over Israel.

Last updated: 20/01/12 14.06CET

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