Salpingidis was born in Thessaloniki on August 18, 1981. He was a member of the Greek under-21 side that played in the finals of the European Championship and made his Alpha Ethniki debut for PAOK on August 25, 2002, against Panathinaikos, a game PAOK won 4-1.
He eventually came to be crowned top scorer of the 2006 season.
Salpingidis transferred to Panathinaikos on the final day of the Summer 2006 transfer window - which was the eve of his 25th birthday - for a reported 1.7 million euros plus players Sandor Torghelle, Tsingas and Kostas Charalambidis who went the other way.
The investment paid dividends on the very first day of the 2007 season as Salpingidis scored a hat trick against Aegaleo FC. After three successful season's with Panathinaikos, in June 2010, Salpingidis signed once more to play for PAOK.
- scoring the lone goal for Greece in their playoffs against Ukraine (0-0, 1-0) which secured a place for Greece in the World Cup 2010 Finals.
- Scoring the first ever goal for Greece in a World Cup Final (June 17, 2010 in the 44th minute of a 2-1 victory over Nigeria)
- Scoring the first and last goals for Greece in Euro 2012