Michel Salgado began his career as a professional footballer at hometown club Celta Vigo. He was born in As Neves in the Province of Pontevedra in Galicia. His Spanish La Liga debut came in the colours of Celta Vigo and it was against his future club, Real Madrid. The first game for Michel Salgado in La Liga ended in a 4-0 defeat at Real Madrid on January 22, 1995.
Celta Vigo made the decision to loan Michel Salgado to UD Salamanca in the Spanish Segunda Division which is the second tier of club football in Spain. The decision to send him on loan to Salamanca paid off after he returned to become a regular in the Celta Vigo starting XI. During his time at Celta Vigo, Salgado was involved in an incident with JuninhoPaulista. The incident happened during a Spanish La Liga game between Celta Vigo and Atletico Madrid in February 2008. Juninho was the victim of a dangerous challenge from Michel Salgadoand it left him with an injury that ruled him out of action for six months. He was on the sidelines until the start of the 1998/99 season thereby missing the 1998 FIFA World Cup tournament in France. Juninho missed out as Brazil reached the final of the tournament before they were thrashed 3-0 by hosts France.