Dimitris Salpigidis, sometimes transliterated as Salpingidis, (Greek: Δημήτρης Σαλπιγγίδης, (born 18 August 1981, Thessaloniki) is a Greek football striker. He plays for PAOK FC and the Greek national team.
Salpigidis started his career through the youth ranks of PAOK FC, the team he supported as a child. Acknowledging his potential and in order to gain much needed experience, the team soon loaned him for two successive seasons to Kavala FC where he finished top scorer of the Second Division. His plea for a return to PAOK FC was granted by his mentor, Angelos Anastasiadis and he became an integral part of the team.
Despite playing out of position as a right midfielder he managed to earn a place in the starting line-up, just a few months after returning from loan. Plagued with financial problems, the next season saw the club experiencing an exodus of its top players such as striker Ioannis Okkas and ex-Newcastle United forward Giorgos Georgiadis, Salpigidis, at the age of 21, then became first-choice striker and captain of the team. The 2003–2004 season proved to be the best in many years, as the club finished an unexpected 3rd, qualifying for the Champions league, despite running on a very low budget. His significance for PAOK FC was such that in the summer 2004 he was given permission to miss a match with the Greek Olympic team so that he could participate in the UEFA Champions League qualifiers against Maccabi Tel Aviv. The elimination at the hands of the Israeli team, followed by the sack of coach Anastasiadis and subsequent financial turmoil hit the team badly, resulting in his exodus less than 2 years later. He went onto score 50 goals in 103 games for PAOK FC becoming the league's top scorer in his final season.
In the summer of 2006, as the club's president Giannis Goumenos was desperate to cash in, he was openly chased by Olympiakos, AEK and Panathinaikos. Salpigidis publicly refused the offer of bitter rivals Olympiakos despite being the most profiting one among the three. On August 16, after a lengthy negotiation period, he finally agreed to sign a 4-year contract to Panathinaikos. He transferred for a fee of €1.8 million, with PAOK additionally receiving 3 players (Sandor Torghelle, Kostas Chalarambidis and Athanasios Tsigas). This was the third most expensive transfer between Greek teams at that time, estimated at €5 million. Although it was an important financial boost to the then-heavily debted club, this transfer caused heavy turmoil amid PAOK fans, branding Salpingidis a traitor and ungrateful to the pains they had taken to keep him in the club. This tense situation brought about the demise of Goumenos' troubled presidency soon after.
After four very successful seasons with Panathinaikos (including a double-winning 2009–2010 season), in the summer of 2010 Salpigidis refused what was said to be a very lucrative contract, to join his boyhood club once again. On 16 June 2010, it was officially announced that he signed a four-year contract with PAOK FC, after his contract with Panathinaikos had expired. In 9/1/2010, he scored his 100th goal on the Greek Superleague against Asteras Tripolis with a header.
Salpigidis has made 44 appearances and scored six times for the Greece national football team, including the winning goal in the away leg of the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification play-offs against Ukraine, which sent Greece through to the final tournament.
On June 17, 2010, in a 2010 FIFA World Cup group stage match against Nigeria, he scored Greece's first ever World Cup goal with a shot from outside the area deflected off in Lukman Haruna.
* Greek Football Cup: 2002–03
* Super League Greece: 2009–10
* Greek Super League top scorer: 1
* Greek Footballer of the year: 2
1. ^ "ΕΘΝΙΚΕΣ ΟΜΑΔΕΣ > Εθνική Ομάδα Ανδρών" (in Greek). Hellenic Football Federation. http://www.epo.gr/ethniki/men/men6.asp. Retrieved 2009-11-10.
Dimitris Salpigidis, Sport Show 2007