When we think about Finland, soccer is usually not the first thing that comes to mind. However, when we think about Finnish soccer, the very first name that would come up would definitely be Teemu Pukki. This 29-year-old soccer player, who currently plays for the Premier League’s Norwich City, is nothing short of a wonder. However, he is not one of those players who flourished later in life, but rather an extraordinary one, who waited for the right environment to employ his skills. He is certainly a celebrity at the moment, even out of the world of soccer, which could be seen when Finland’s Prime Minister presented the French President Emmanuel Macron with a Teemu Pukki shirt after their recent meeting.
Who is Teemu Pukki?
Teemu was born in Kotka, Finland, and from a very early age, he showed an interest in soccer. Being a soccer fan from a very young age, his first club was the Finnish KTP. He had his first professional game when he was only sixteen years old. At 18 years old, he moved to Spain, as he started playing for Sevilla, which was very significant for his playing, as this new country took soccer much more seriously than Finland. After not much luck there, in 2010 he returned to Finland to play for HJK Helsinki, where he had notable results, especially in 2011, during the qualifications for the Champions League, when he singlehandedly eliminated Schalke. A few days later, Schalke gave almost one and a half million Euros to sign Pukki over. Here, unlike Spain, he had a more significant role from the start. In 2013, he signed for the Scottish Celtic, where he spent one year, before moving to Denmark to play for Brondby, and help them win the Danish Cup in the season 2017/2018.
In 2018, Norwich announced that they made a free transfer, in which they signed Pukki. On his debut game, he scored one goal, and later in the season scored 16 goals in 25 games. Due to his excellent performance, the fans of the club named him Norwich City F.C. Player of the Season, when he received a trophy. In the season 2019/2020, he signed a three-year contract with the club, making some significant scores in the games that would soon follow. During a game against Newcastle United, he scored a hat trick, and he was declared Premier League Player of the Month in August.
We have seen the name of Teemu Pukki show up both in sports and in situations that are unrelated to sports. This is all due to his rising popularity as a football prodigy, which made him incredibly popular, both in his homeland, as well as abroad. Even though Norwich is not the most popular soccer team in England, Pukki’s appearances have made Norwich game tickets sell out fairly quickly. His face is featured in numerous magazines and newspapers. The current goal that he just might achieve is that of becoming Finland’s record-holding scorer. With 20 international goals, Pukki is only 12 goals short of breaking the previous record, which would categorize him as one of the greatest soccer players Finland has ever had. Whether you are Finnish or not, this young player is sure to win your sympathies.