Kim Little Profile
|Born||Jun 19, 1990|
Trail-blazing Scot has played in England, the USA and Australia during her impressive career and is a former PFA Player of the Year.
Kim Little is a Scottish footballer who plays as a midfielder for FA Women's Super League (WSL) club Arsenal and the Scottish national women's team. She has previously played for Hibernian Ladies, Seattle Reign and Melbourne City.
Little began playing football at a young age with her father and brother and ultimately grew into arguably the most recognisable Scottish women's footballer, starring for the national team over the course of nearly a decade and a half at the time of writing.
Little rises to prominence with Hibs
Little broke into the Hibernian first team at the age of 16, making her debut for Hibs in a UEFA Women's Champions League match against Espanyol.
In her Scottish Women's Premier League (SWPL) debut for Hibs, Little scored a hat-trick against Hutchison Vale. She scored 55 goals in 30 matches in the 2006/07 season as Hibs won every match. In the 2007/08 season, she scored 33 times in 18 appearances.
Arsenal move and PFA award
In March 2008, 18-year-old Little signed for Arsenal in the FA Women's Premier League National Division. Arsenal were, at the time, the dominant force in English women's football.
Little came of age during the 2008/09 season, which saw Arsenal Women win the Treble. She played in all but one of Arsenal's 22 league matches in a season which saw them win 20 games, draw one and lose one. Along the way, Little struck 24 goals.
Arsenal held onto their league title in 2009/10 with Little playing a key role in filling the void left by the departure of Kelly Smith. She picked up the FA Players' Player of the Year prize in June 2010, but Arsenal lost the 2010 FA Women's Cup final, 3-2 to Everton after extra time.
The FA WSL was formed in 2011 and Little played a key role in Arsenal finishing top of the table in its first-ever season. They also won the FA Women's Cup final, beating Bristol Academy 2-0 with Little scoring the opening goal.
Little was the league's top scorer in 2012 with 11 goals as Arsenal once again finished top of the table. The Scottish midfielder went on to win the inagural Women's Players' Player of the Year award from the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA).
"For years, I have watched this event on television, so to come here and win the first award is fantastic," she said.
Arsenal's form dipped somewhat following the departure of head coach Laura Harvey and their era of dominance began to peter out.
Little scored three goals in 14 appearances during the 2013 season under Shelley Kerr as Arsenal finished third in the regular-season standings.
After leaving Arsenal that year, she returned in 2017 and helped them beat Manchester City 1-0 in the FA WSL Continental Tyres Cup final.
Heading Stateside to Seattle Reign
With Harvey having vacated her coaching role at Arsenal to take over at Seattle Reign, it did not take long before she recruited Little, who joined in November 2013.
"Kim is world-class," said Harvey at the time. "Her talent and proven experience will be a huge asset for our team in the coming seasons. Having coached Kim for nearly four years, I have no doubt that her creativity and goal-scoring ability will prove an exciting proposition for the NWSL (National Women's Soccer League)."
Little was NWSL Player of the Month in April 2014 and then again the following month, making her the first player to win the award twice.
Little was second to Crystal Dunn in the scoring charts with 10 goals in the 2015 season and topped the league's assists table with seven.
In 2015, the Scot went on loan to Melbourne City. She scored nine goals in 12 appearances in the 2015/16 season as Melbourne topped the regular-season standings and went on to win the Grand Final.
Little opted to leave Melbourne at the end of that campaign.
"I won't be coming back," she confirmed. "It was a one-year thing for me. I've honestly had a great time here.
"Melbourne City have made a club that have raised the bar in Australia, the club environment, the facilities, the coaching staff - everything around us is so elite and professional while I've been here.
"I've played for Arsenal and in America with Seattle and it's up there with the highest quality.
"I go back to Seattle in March, I have other priorities come October this year."
The Reign sanctioned her transfer back to Arsenal upon her return.
Little's international career with Scotland
Little made her debut for the Scotland senior national women's team at the age of 16 in 2007 in a friendly against Japan.
"Kim is an exceptional talent," said boss Anna Signeul. "There's no limit to how far she can progress. She has technique, speed and power, and she reads the game extremely well."
The Arsenal midfielder went on to score her first goal for Scotland in a defeat to Russia in March 2008. In her 50th cap, she scored during a 2-0 victory over England in the Cyprus Cup in 2011.
"This is a very special win for us," said Little following Scotland's first win over England since 1977.
"We've come close to England before, but we've been closing in on all the big teams and we're going into matches like this believing we can get a result.
"We were very organised defensively, got forward well, created chances and took them. It was a deserved victory - and a great day for Scotland."
Little missed Euro 2017 due to injury, but she helped Scotland qualify for the 2019 FIFA World Cup and scored in a 3-3 draw with Argentina.
Little also represented Great Britain at the 2012 Olympics, one of only two non-English players in a squad which reached the quarter-finals.
Kim Little personal life
In 2014, Little confirmed that she was in a relationship with footballer Tom Pett.
She appeared in a 2016 campaign for LGBTQ advocacy group Athlete Ally.
Kim Little net worth
Little's precise net worth is unknown, but she has stated before that she does not necessarily want women's football to become awash with money in the same manner which the men's game has.
"I think within football, because of the amount the male players are paid, it highlights it even more - but you could say the amount they get paid is too much, even if it goes along with the popularity of the sport," she told the Press Association in reference to gender pay disparity in football.
"I also think it takes away a little bit from the authenticity of it and just the pure football side of it - it adds all of these superficial things and I don't necessarily want the women's game to go to that point because I think it does take away from some parts of the game."