Michelle Heyman walks away from Matildas

Former Matilda Michelle Heyman has retired from international football.
Former Matilda Michelle Heyman has retired from international football.

Matildas striker Michelle Heyman has retired from national team duty after missing out on next month's World Cup.

The 30-year-old has battled a string of physical and mental health challenges and announced in an interview on Thursday she was stepping away.

"I am officially retiring from the Westfield Matildas," she told Fox Sports.

"I really wanted to fight for that (World Cup place) but my body isn't going to allow me to do that. My mind isn't going to allow me to do that.

Heyman revealed the scale of her mental health issues while making her announcement.

"During my time at the Westfield Matildas I suffered a lot from anxiety. I really didn't understand what was going on in my little mind," she said.

"I had a couple of panic attacks most nights.

"It's been a big journey for myself to sit down with my psychiatrist and talk about these things ... that has made a big difference in my life and I still use that every day."

Heyman led the line for Australia at the 2015 World Cup, tallying 61 caps overall for the national team.

She was the 2009 Julie Dolan Medallist as the W-League's best player and a two-time golden boot winner in the national women's competition.

She also duelled with Alen Stajcic as a club coach, requiring clear-the-air talks on his ascension to the national team job.

"When Staj got the job for the Matildas in 2014 I was a little bit anxious and uncomfortable," she said.

"We sat down and spoke about our differences. It was a big release.

"He was tough. For me that worked. I think it worked for a lot of the girls."

Stajcic left the national team job earlier this year, with FFA levelling allegations of a toxic culture under his leadership.

Heyman concluded on a positive note, saying the only goal she failed to reach for Australia was Olympic Gold.

"I know I've achieved what I ever wanted to achieve. I've ticked all my boxes that I set out to tick," she said.

Heyman was the only openly gay Australian athlete at the 2016 Olympics and has been awarded several times for her advocacy to the LGBTIQ community.

Australian Associated Press