Barbiero to reach 'ton' against Bunyodkor

Adelaide United FC midfielder Fabian Barbiero is set to reach the 100 game milestone for the club if, as expected, he takes the field against Bunyodkor on Wednesday night.

Adelaide United FC midfielder Fabian Barbiero is set to reach the 100 game milestone for the club if, as expected, he takes the field against Bunyodkor on Wednesday night.

If the eager anticipation of playing in an AFC Champions League Quarter Final at home was not already enough, the match will carry extra significance for Barbiero, who will make his 100th appearance in all competitions for the Reds.

In a career that has spanned five years to date, Barbiero will become the ninth player to reach 100 games for the club, while amongst the current United squad, he sits third in line in number of games played for the club behind Eugene Galekovic and Cassio.

A born and bred South Australian who came through the local ranks before being invited by then coach Aurelio Vidmar as a train on player, Barbiero took his chance and has not looked back.

“Coming up as a train on player in the early days of my career, I was just happy to be involved,” Barbiero said.

“But now to be involved in a bit of the club-s history with the ACL and also in the A-League, it-s kind of surreal.”

Barbiero-s first taste of the Hyundai A-League came in two cameos off the bench in 2007/08, before in his first start, away against the Newcastle Jets, it became memorable for the wrong reasons as he was sent off on the stroke of half time.

“There are a lot of memories from the 100 games but obviously starting off on my debut I was probably a bit too keen, I-ll put it down to that and ended up being sent off and having an early shower, but I had a lot of support and you learn from your mistakes,” Barbiero recalls.

“The more games you play the more experience you get and I-ve found that I-ve grown as a player and I-m hope to keep learning and playing a lot more games for the club.”

While he did not feature in the Final, Barbiero played a considerable part in the Reds- road to the ACL decider in 2008, which included a goal in the semi final win over Bunyodkor, while he also featured in two of the Reds- three games at the 2008 FIFA Club World Cup.

On the squad-s return from that tournament, Barbiero then wrote himself into Adelaide United folklore as his wonder strike against Brisbane Roar sent the Reds through to the Hyundai A-League 2008/09 Grand Final.

“We had the Roar at home to get into the Grand Final and it was nice to get on the scoresheet that day and obviously help us get to the big one and qualify for the ACL,” Barbiero said of his winner against Brisbane.

“That-s well and good but in the end, it-s about the team, not about the individual and you have to do your bit.”

Barbiero-s contribution on the field throughout his 99 games is also matched by his efforts and impact off it and on the training track, evidenced by the fact that he has twice taken out the club-s Best Team Man Award.

Now 28, Barbiero has become a crowd favourite at Hindmarsh, and in the world of professional sport where one club players are coming increasingly harder to find, he is well on his way to many more in a Reds shirt.

Reaching 100 games for the club in his home town holds a special place for Barbiero, and his drive to help Adelaide United achieve success is something that continues to drive him on.

“Every kid wants to play for their home state and to notch up 100 games - it-s an achievement in itself, but again it doesn-t really mean much if you don-t win anything or do something with your career, so I just want to continue to play well but more importantly I want to make the club successful and that-s winning silverware.”

Fabian Barbiero Appearances (Goals) 2007/08 HYUNDAI A-LEAGUE 3 (0) 2008 AFC Champions League (Group) 3 (0) 2008 Pre-Season Cup 3 (0) 2008/09 HYUNDAI A-LEAGUE 19 (2) 2008 AFC Champions League (Finals) 3 (1) 2008 FIFA Club World Cup 2 (0) 2009/10 HYUNDAI A-LEAGUE 18 (3) 2010 AFC Champions League (Group) 6 (0) 2010/11 HYUNDAI A-LEAGUE 16 (1) 2011/12 HYUNDAI A-LEAGUE 18 (2) 2012 ACL Play-off 1 (0) 2012 ACL Group Stage 7 (0) HAL only 74 (8) TOTAL 99 (9)*