Salenko was born October 25, 1969 in the Russian city St. Petersburg. He is most famous for being the only player to score five goals in a World Cup match in 1994 in the United States.
Salenko started his carrer with Zenit St. Petersburg, then Zenit Leningrad, where he made his debut in 1986. He moved to Dynamo Kiev in 1989 after scoring 10 goals in 40 appearances for Zenit. He spent three years in Ukraine before moving on the Spanish side Logrones.
At Logrones, Salenko scored 23 goals in 47 appearances before being snapped up by Valencia in 1994. He failed to become a success at Valencia and later moved on to Scottish giants Rangers for £2.5million.
But it was in 1994 the Russian lad made his international breakthrough. Salenko managed to score a record five goals in one game for Russia against Cameroon on June 28, 1994 in the World Cup. Salenko ended up sharing the Golden Boot with Hristo Stoichkov, but the Bulgarian legend played four more games than the Russian in the tournament.
Salenko played a total of only eight international matches for Russia, scoring 6 goals. Before playing for Russia he featured one time for Ukraine in 1992. The only goals Salenko scored on international was in the 1994 World Cup in the United States.
After failing to impress at Rangers he moved on to Istanbulspor, where he scored 11 goals in 21 matches. Salenko had struggled with injury problems since the 1996-97 season and finally retired from football.
In the 2000-01 season he made a comeback for Polish side Pogon Szczecin, but after only one match he decided to leave the club and retired. Salenko was struggling was struggling with weight problems at the time.