Arsenal captain and Scotland legend Kim Little calls time on international career
Mintlaw’s Kim Little has called time on a Scotland career which saw her become one of the country’s all-time greats.
The Arsenal midfielder and captain made her debut in 2007 and has won 140 caps for he country.
But she has now taken the decision to end her career before Pedro Martinez Losa’s side begin their 2023 Women’s World Cup qualification campaign later this month.
Little, now 31, made he Scotland debut against Japan at the age of just 16 and has been a fixture ever since.
She won her 50th cap, and scored the opening goal, in a 2-0 Cyprus Women's Cup win over England in March 2011. She then helped Scotland qualify for their first ever major tournament, EURO 2017, ultimately missing out due to injury.
In 2018, Little scored against Switzerland in a 2-1 victory in front of a record crowd in Paisley which proved crucial in qualification for the 2019 World Cup.
During the tournament she started all three group games, scoring the opener against Argentina in a 3-3 draw at Parc Des Princes.
Throughout Kim’s successful period with the national team, she has amassed numerous accolades for her impressive performances on the pitch, most notably when she was named BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year in 2016.
She has also represented Team GB at two Olympics, in London in 2012 and in Japan earlier this year.
She said: “Stepping away from playing international football is something I have been considering for a while and I feel now is the right time to make that change.
“I am proud of the 15 years I have spent representing the national team. I have developed and grown as a person through my experiences representing my country and know they will help me in countless ways in the future.
“Thank you to my teammates for being incredibly empowering and inspiring women. My most vivid and fondest memories are from being by your side on and off the pitch through good times and some challenging times, pushing for progress for the women’s game.
“I now look forward to supporting you all from afar and can’t wait to watch you perform and continue to improve the women’s game in Scotland, paving the way for more young girls to have a career as a footballer.”
“I want to wish Pedro and the team all the very best for the up-and-coming qualifiers in September and for the rest of the campaign and beyond.”
Head coach Pedro Martinez Losa said: “Kim has contributed hugely to the women’s game in Scotland and will go down in history as one of the best players to pull on the national team jersey.
“While it is obviously disappointing that Kim will no longer be available for international selection, I understand and respect her decision. It is now time for the next generation of players to follow in Kim’s footsteps and make their own mark with the national team.
“On behalf of everyone involved in women’s football in Scotland I would like to thank Kim for everything she has done both on the pitch as a player but also as a role model to young girls who have admired her and aim to follow in her footsteps.
“We wish Kim all the best as she continues her club career with Arsenal and look forward to welcoming her to Hampden Park as a supporter in the future.”