Footballer's Style - Melissa Barbieri

ABC TV commentator and former Westfield Matilda Cheryl Salisbury has moved away from striking the football at Melissa Barbieri and instead has sat down with the Melbourne Victory and Westfield Matilda goalkeeper for some insight into the girl called ‘Bubs’ and the up-coming Westfield W-League season.

ABC TV commentator and former Westfield Matilda Cheryl Salisbury has moved away from striking the football at Melissa Barbieri and instead has sat down with the Melbourne Victory and Westfield Matilda goalkeeper for some insight into the girl called ‘Bubs- and the up-coming Westfield W-League season.

Name: Melissa Barbieri

Age: 29

Playing Number: 1

Nickname: BUBS - Basically my name is a family heirloom it has been handed down from my brother because many people can-t pronounce our last name - Barbieri - Barbs - Babs - Bubs... No one liked Babs because it was too much like Barbara Streisand.

When did you start playing football? I started playing when I was 8 after going down to training with my brothers. I played for 2 seasons before the club banned me because I was a girl. I restarted at the age of 14 in an all woman senior team.

Playing position: Goalkeeper - but started out as a field player (left winger). I was told when I was 20 that I had a back injury that was untreatable and I would have to stop playing. But I didn-t like the idea of that so I asked if I could get better by not running around and they said yes, so I became a goal keeper instead. I later found out that it was an easily treatable hamstring tendonitis, but had already made the move to goal keeping and made the Australian team by that stage.

Caps for Australia: Westfield Matildas - 68 caps

Junior club: Box Hill Inter (never played junior football there but this is where I spent most of my football career).

What do you love most about Melbourne? Lygon Street!! There is nothing better than stopping for a cake and café or a beautiful wood fired pizza and a glass of wine in Melbourne-s little Italy!

Name one player in your team we should watch out for this year? Julieanne Sitch from the USA. Julieanne won the WPS Title in America with Sky Blue F.C. She is a midfielder and will cause havoc for other teams!

Who-s the toughest opponent you-ve played? North Korea is the toughest opponent because they are quick and technically gifted, because of their lifestyles - all are enrolled in the army and they definitely seem like a regimented army on the field.

Who-s your footballing idol? Zinedine Zidane is my footballing idol he is just all class.

Favourite football team? Manchester United - Ryan Giggs brought me to barrack for this team and his over 700 games is a great achievement, they are just always at the top of the league and you can never count them out of any game.

Favourite footballing moment? When the Qantas Socceroos made it through to the World Cup of 2006, it was the best day of my life!!

What-s the best goal celebration you-ve seen? One of teammates scored (Anthea Vardakas) in our Premier league Grand Final and did a cart wheel… it was great, she got so dizzy she can-t remember scoring the goal!

Who will your club play in the Westfield W-League grand final this year? Adelaide because its time the Southern States got some glory time!

What is it like being the face of your club? It-s an honour to represent my club and be the face - it does help that I love the glamour of the makeup and the fun times with other teams. You don-t have to be all game face you can just enjoy each other-s company and have fun.

Last concert you went to? P!NK in Canberra with the Westfield Matildas. She came over and gave us all a big group hug. We were chanting and we wouldn-t shut up till she came over.

First record or CD you ever bought? Bon Jovi - Slippery When Wet

Last movie you saw in the cinema? Harry Potter 6 - I liked it but unfortunately the books are hard to live up to.

City you-d most live to live in? I-d love to live in New York just so I can say that I had - there is always something to do there.

If you could be any other female sports star in the world who would it be? Mia Hamm - because she got to play football and make a lot of money out of it.

If you could be any other female celebrity in the world who would it be? Angelina Jolie - because she gets to look at Brad Pitt every day.

Celebrity crush? Ryan Reynolds - Funny and gorgeous and the best body!!!

Favourite store at Westfield? G-STAR - LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!! It has the best clothes ever and I can-t get enough of their Jeans - I have 3 pairs!! A close 2nd would be Paper Papiere - it-s a stationary shop with lots of great stuff for your creative side!

Your last holiday? Every year for New Years we go to Yarrawonga with the family - it is a bit outdoorsy in caravans and you get a sore back and neck from no bed but the water skiing and donut rides are the best! When we can afford the time off we-ll try to get to Thailand!

If you won lotto, what-s the first thing you-d buy? A house in Lower Templestowe where I grew up and an Alfa Romeo for my Dad!

Would you make a better contestant on Australian Idol or So You Think You Can Dance? So You Think You Can Dance because I can-t sing! I-d do the Paso Doble with a gorgeous partner named Riccardo!

Do you have any pets? Rilee and Arnie. Rilee is a loveable mix breed (Great Dane, Ridge Back but she looks like a black Labrador) and has the best puppy dog look ever!! She tries to get your attention by gently placing her paw on your leg. Arnie is a Blue Heeler that is smart as they come. He will do anything for food, shake hands, speak, but don-t get angry at him, because he thinks he is the leader of the pack!

Best piece of advice for girls wanting to start playing football? Just have as much as fun as possible, learn as much as possible and don-t let success go to your head or failure go to your heart. Never give up on your dreams!