Salgado continuing to put Honduras on the volleyball map
At this year’s Central American Games he led his country to the gold medal in Costa Rica and so impressive were his performances that he won the MVP award.
It was his country’s first gold medal in the tournament and the level of his play improved as the tournament went on. In the semifinal he scored 39 points as they eliminated Guatemala and he topped that in the gold medal match with 40 points against the host nation.
“We were on a mission,” Salgado said. “We went out to prove we deserved to win the gold and we absolutely did it.”
The 32-year-old became the first Honduran to play in Europe when he joined Club Deportivo de la Universidad de Granada in Spain’s Super League.
It was not an easy task for the 1.98m Salgado, who had to clear cultural and physical hurdles to make his mark. Eventually he won over his doubters with his energetic style and the help of Rony Martinez his mentor and national team coach and caught the eye of Jose Antonio Santos, Spain’s 1992 Olympic coach, who brought him to Granada.
After four years in Spain with CV Granada and CV Puerto Real, he moved on to CV Munsingen in Switzerland, and then to Finland with Sampo Pielaveden.
“First I had to convince recruiters that coming from a country with no tradition of volleyball does not mean I did not have the talent, and then my physical condition was good but not that of a professional player,” he said.
“I put my heart and soul into trying as hard as I could, though it took me two years before I got the first break. That was my dream, to have a professional career in volleyball, something very unusual in Honduras and in the Central American region, but they are not impossible goals.”