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England and Arsenal star Kelly Smith wants to win the Champions League more than anything else
Kelly Smith claims her desire to win the Champions League is one of her greatest motivations to keep playing as she prepares for Arsenal’s last 16 clash against Potsdam next Thursday.
The England and Gunners star, who turns 34 on Monday, believes she has two or three years left before she hangs up her boots and is determined to add the coveted European trophy to her extensive honours list.
Smith has won four league titles, three FA Cups and a UEFA Cup in an astonishing career but as yet the Champions League has eluded her.
“The one I really want to win is the Champions League with Arsenal,” she said.
“This is the one trophy that all the girls, the management and the club want to do well in, it’s the one everyone wants to lift.
“The Champions League is the toughest competition there is and we won it in 2008 and we want to replicate that if we can.”
Arsenal cruised through the previous round with a 7-0 aggregate win over Barcelona and have already won the league and the Continental Cup already this season.
Smith said: “We’re really confident, we’ve come off the back of a long season after the Olympics and winning the league and the Continental final so we’re all on a high right now and we know this game is vital to whether we progress or not.”
Potsdam though will prove tough opponents having won the competition both in 2005 and 2010 and Smith knows Arsenal will have to be on top of their game.
“They’re probably favourites because of their strength and depth, and their previous experience in the competition but we’re secretly confident of getting the result,” she said.
“We’ve got to take the initiative. We’ve had them scouted so we’ll look at how they play and how we’re going to combat that – we’re going to go out all guns blazing.
“We have to play well on the day and try and win that game at home because that would make the away leg slightly easier so we know how crucial it is to pick up the win at home.”
Smith has endured a tough year after she broke her leg earlier in the season and only just made Great Britain’s Olympic squad. She also suffered thigh and groin injuries recently but insists she is 100 per cent fit now and raring to go.
“It’s probably been one of my worst seasons ever for me personally,” Smith said.
“It’s just a matter of staying fit and healthy for Arsenal and I want to be in a good frame of mind for the Euros in Sweden next summer. I still feel like I’ve got a good two or three years left in me.”
The first leg of Arsenal against Potsdam will be played at Meadow Park on Thursday, November 1.
Kick off is at 2pm and, with the game taking place during half-term, entry will be free to children under the age of 16.
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