Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) has today hailed the achievements of Melissa Barbieri after the goalkeeper announced her retirement from international football.

Having been capped 88 times, the decision brings down the curtain on a truly stellar career, which included four FIFA Women’s World Cups, three AFC Asian Cups and the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

PFA Chief Executive Adam Vivian said Barbieri would go down in history as one of Australia’s best ever goalkeepers.

“Melissa’s career was truly outstanding, and she will rightly take her place amongst the greats of Australian football,” said Vivian. “Few players have made the same impression on Australian football and she leaves behind her a legacy that will no doubt inspire the next generation.

“On behalf of all our members I would like to wish her all the very best for the future.”

With Barbieri having captained the Matildas to their 2010 Asian Cup triumph, PFA President Matt McKay hailed the impact she had made on the game.

“Australia has a proud tradition of producing ‘world class’ goalkeepers and Melissa has been amongst the very best,” said McKay.

“By playing at the top level for such a long time she managed to do what few other players have managed.

“I would like to thank her for everything she has given to the game and wish her all the very best for the future.”