While some captains are vocal on and off the pitch, others prefer stay quiet and lead by example. Kelly Smith fell into the latter category.
The former England striker had been Arsenal Ladies’ club captain for the past few seasons, inspiring her team-mates to back-to-back Continental Cups and last May’s FA Cup triumph at Wembley before announcing her retirement on Wednesday.
Jordan Nobbs played with Smith for club and country, and says nobody else had the ability to impact a game like the Arsenal legend could.
“What Kelly brings to a team is inspirational,” Nobbs said. “She can be silent on the pitch but still inspire and drive a team. That is a very unique skill to have.
“Whenever I have played alongside her, I want to work for her and play the best I can. She shows her passion for the club and I want to show that as well. I’ll be very proud to say I played with a player like that.
“She’s been one of the best players around. We totally understand her decision to retire but she could still be one of the best players in the league now, so she’s going to be a great loss for Arsenal. She has incredible talent.
“Watching Kelly in World Cups, she was an unbelievable player. It is crazy that someone can take on an entire team by herself sometimes to win you the game. She was one of the only players in the world who could do that. It going to be a very sad time for Arsenal and for me as well. It’s going to be hard to see a player like that leave.”
With thanks to Tom Garry and BBC Sport.
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