Arguably the best British player, if not the world’s best, Kim Little will once again be playing in Britain having rejoined the WSL 1 side Arsenal. Hope Solo said of Little that “her passing and vision and technical skill are, I believe, the best in the world.” This year, Little was named as the BBC World Service’s Women’s Footballer of the Year.
Her signing lit up Twitter, with the hashtag #ReturnOfTheKim trending at one point. Arsenal’s official Twitter page (@ArsenalLadies) posted this video of her goal that won the 2009 FA Cup Final against Sunderland.
📼 Time to dust off some old footage…
— Arsenal Ladies (@ArsenalLadies) October 17, 2016
She has signed a long-term contract with the 2016 FA Cup Winners and will link up with the club in January 2017.
Arsenal’s manager Pedro Martinez Losa told the club website (www.arsenal.com) about his delight of signing Little, calling her an “outstanding talent” before saying:
She has proven that she can create and score goals at the highest level time and time again, and she will be a fantastic asset to our team as we prepare to challenge for the top honours in 2017.
2017 was already going to be a massive year for Little as Scotland compete in the European Championships, the first major tournament for Scotland. Playing in England will help Little prepare for the tournament.
A Scottish Legend
At just 26 years old, she’s already won 117 caps for Scotland and has scored 46 goals, having made her debut at 16 in a 2-0 friendly defeat to Japan on the 14th February 2007. Her first goal came at the 2008 Cyprus Cup in Scotland’s 3-2 defeat to Russia. Kim’s 50th cap came in the 2010 Cyprus Cup in Scotland’s historic win over England where she scored the opening goal. She reached her century of caps on the 13th September 2014 as Scotland beat Faroe Islands
9-0 in a World Cup qualifier – and she marked the occasion with a goal. Kim is also a former captain of Scotland’s U19 team.
Along with fellow Scottish player Ifeoma Dieke, she played in the 2012 Olympics Women’s Football Team for Great Britain, the only two non-English players in the squad. She played in all five of GB’s games.
Having come through the Buchan Girls youth set up, she joined Hibernian’s youth team in 2005 – before progressing to their first team in 2006, making her debut in the Champions League against Espanyol. During the 2006-07 season with the Edinburgh club, she won all three of the available domestic trophies, winning every single game in the league. During her 48 appearances for Hibs, she scored an incredible 88 goals.
In 2008, she made the move down south to join Arsenal Ladies, where she continued to have incredible success, winning the league four times (including the first two Women’s Super Leagues), the FA Cup three times and the League Cup four times. Her final league win, 2012, saw Arsenal go the season unbeaten.
Little moved to America to Seattle Reign in 2014, joining her ex-Arsenal boss Laura Harvey who had made the same move the year before – and scored twice during her debut for her new club. In both of her two seasons, she won the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) Shield, before going on to lose the play-off.