South Melbourne FC is pleased to confirm that Matildas legend Melissa Barbieri will join the club for the 2021 NPLW Victoria season.
Barbieri is an iconic name in Australian football, having featured for the Matildas in 86 competitive matches. During her time in the green and gold, Barbieri captained the Matildas to the 2010 Asian Cup triumph and into the 2011 World Cup, with Australia making the Quarter Finals. She represented our nation at four World Cups, including the 2015 tournament in Canada, where the Matildas once again made the Quarter Finals.
At the peak of her game, Barbieri was one of the finest goalkeepers in the world and has been a role model for Australian female footballers for over a decade.
Barbieri has played a prominent role in the W-League, winning the goalkeeper of the year on numerous occasions and most recently was part of the Melbourne City championship sides of 2017, 2018 and 2020.
Interestingly, Melissa began her career at Middle Park in 1994 as part of the South Melbourne women’s side. Having played that season in the outfield, nobody back then would have predicted that “Bubs” would go on to become a legendary goalkeeper in Australian football.
Melissa is also a proud member of the Football Victoria Hall of Fame.
Speaking to smfc.com.au, SMFC Senior Coach Samuel Young expressed his excitement. “Melissa is a born leader and an icon of the game, so we are naturally very pleased to have her join the squad in 2021. As well as being a huge asset for us on the park, she will use her vast experience to work with and assist our younger players to continually improve.”
SMFC Women’s Football Director Gabrielle Giuliano was also elated with the signing. “South Melbourne always strives to have the best people involved in the club and when it comes to women’s football. We are thrilled to welcome Melissa back into our family for the 2021 season and cannot wait to see the immediate impact that she will make to our women’s program. The club strives to be at the top of the women’s game in this country, so to have a person of this quality around the club is something that excites us all.”
We wish her all the best in 2021 and cannot wait to see her back in SMFC colours once again.