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Julio Salinas Fernández (born September 11, 1962 in Bilbaomarker, Basque Countrymarker) is a former Spanishmarker-Basque football, during the 1980s and 1990s.

A tall, lanky centre forward with skills, Salinas is best remembered for his spell at FC Barcelona, while he was also a prolific goalscorer for club and country.

Club career

In 1983–84, Salinas won the second division's Pichichi award, as he helped Bilbao Athletic finish runners-up to Castilla CF. During two seasons, he also played 13 games for the main side, netting his first top flight goal on March 26, 1983, in a 4–0 home win over Celta de Vigo, as the Basquemarker captured back-to-back league titles (adding the 1984 Copa del Rey).

After two more seasons with Bilbao, netting 12 goals combined for two third-place finishes, Salinas moved to Atlético de Madrid, where he netted an impressive 31 goals from 1988–90 (including two on February 7, 1988, in a 7–0 home thrashing of RCD Mallorca).

Salinas signed for FC Barcelona for 1988–89, linking up with several other Basque players, including veteran José Ramón Alexanko, Txiki Begiristain, Ion Andoni Goikoetxea and José Mari Bakero. These would help form the backbone of the legendary Dream Team. Salinas scored 20 league goals in his debut season, as Barça finished second to Real Madrid, and he also netted in both the 1989 Cup Winners' Cup final against U.C. Sampdoria and in the following year's domestic cup 2–0 win against Real Madrid.

In the subsequent seasons, Salinas appeared sparingly for the club, due to his aging and the emergence of offensive players as Hristo Stoitchkov. He would still manage to net some important goals in spite of limited playing time. On January 30, 1994, after coming in as a second-half substitute against Albacete Balompié, Salinas scored both goals in a 2–1 home win, as he only played in another six games during the season, with Barcelona eventually achieving four league titles in a row.

Upon leaving Barcelona, Salinas played for Deportivo de La Coruña, helping them finish second in his only season. Although not a regular in the starting lineups, he finished with 12 league goals, only surpassed by club great Bebeto. As a late substitute at the Camp Noumarker, on December 3, Salinas netted in a 1–1 draw (only months after leaving his former club), after a header from central defender José Luis Ribera.

After the signing of, among others, Russianmarker Dmitry Radchenko, Salinas was deemed surplus to requirements, leaving for Sporting de Gijón, where he scored 18 goals in 1995–96, crucial in helping the Asturiansmarker avoid relegation. He was held in high regards in the city during his one 1/2 year spell, with the fans often singing: "Bota de oro, Salinas bota de oro!" (Golden boot, Salinas, golden boot!").

Salinas then had an abroad stint with Yokohama F. Marinos in Japanmarker, where he again showcased his scoring skills, teaming up with former Barcelona teammate Goikoetxea. He then returned close to home, having played his last two seasons with Deportivo Alavés, where he scored in 1999–2000's opener, a 2–1 home win against Málaga CF. Alavés finished sixth and would go on to reach the following year's UEFA Cup final.

On May 19, 2000, Salinas played his last professional match, scoring in a 2–1 loss at his first team, Athletic Bilbao. He retired with 417 games and 152 goals.

International career

Salinas made 56 international appearances for Spain during a decade, scoring 23 goals. His debut was on January 22, 1986, as he scored in a 2–0 friendly win against the Soviet Union, in Las Palmas de Gran Canariamarker.

He went on to represent Spain at three FIFA World Cups: 1986 (where he scored against Northern Ireland), 1990 (netting in the second-round loss against Yugoslavia) and 1994, as well as two European Football Championships, 1988 and 1996.

In the 1994 World Cup quarter-final against Italy, after he had found the net in a 2–2 draw against South Korea, Salinas infamously missed the chance to put Spain into the last four: with 1–1 and less than ten minutes to go, he marred a fast-break, with only goalkeeper Gianluca Pagliuca to beat. Minutes after, Roberto Baggio sealed the 2–1 final result, as the Spaniard was ultimately more remembered for this miss rather than the massive amount of goals scored during an 18-year professional career.



Immediately after retiring, Salinas began working as a sports commentator, first in RTVE, then in La Sexta, covering the 2006 FIFA World Cup for the latter.


Salinas' younger brother, Patxi, was also a professional footballer (centre back), and played for Athletic Bilbao and Celta. Both made their top level debuts in 1982–83.


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