• Pablo Lario

PUKKIMANIA

First of all... Who the f*** is Teemu Pukki, you might be wondering? (Really!? You don't know who he is!? What's wrong with all of you, people!?)


For the people out there, who don't have a clue who this "legend" is, Teemu Pukki is the footballer of the year, a total sensation, a clinical finisher, a player at the same level of the likes of Leo Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, or even the great "Lord Bendtner". In other words: A total monster!


However, all this fame took time and patience, until the "PUKKIMANIA" became a reality. So, with 44 goals in 66 games for club and country since joining the Canaries in the summer of 2018, it's time to show you the path to the greatness of this absolute Norwich, and Finish, legend.

Pukki's tale is perhaps not one of a player who blossomed later in life but rather a player who always had the ability but, until recently, didn't find himself the right circumstances to flourish. Having impressed in his homeland from an early age, he made his debut for his hometown team at 16 and was named Finland's Young Player of the Year in his first season, that's how Pukki caught the eye of several international scouts while playing for Finland in an Under-17s tournament in Portugal. Clearly, a legend was born!


With the career of arguably Finland's greatest player, Jari Litmanen, heading towards its end, clubs were on the lookout for the next Finnish superstar. Pukki was invited for a trial with Chelsea, and although nothing came of it there was also rumored interest from 'La Vecchia Signora'. In the end. it was Spain giant Sevilla who, in 2008, signed the Finish' starlet.


Unfortunately, "the great Pukki" fell victim to getting too much too soon. He arrived in the Spanish city as a hopeful 17-year-old, living with his mum in a small flat, while being unable to speak the language.


After a couple of years in the La Liga side's youth team, the manager who signed him, Diego Rodriguez, was sacked (a casualty?), and Pukki found himself even more out of favor. He returned to Finland to try and kick-start his career. So, after a successful spell at HJK Helsinki, Teemu (his nickname in high-school.. JK!) was again offered the chance of playing in one of Europe's big leagues, this time with German club Schalke (After Pukki left, they became s***!). Despite scoring twice on his debut, circumstances once again hindered his progress. Ahead of Pukki were Spanish striker Raul and Dutch legend... Klaas-Jan Huntelaar?


KTP, Sevilla, HJK Helsinki, Schalke 04, Celtic, Brøndby...

It seemed like Pukki's career was a total let-down, right? But, WAIT! THERE'S MORE!


Suddenly, all that potential that had seemingly laid dormant for years was released. Just the Genie's lamp waiting (to be rub) in the 'Cave of Wonders'. Pukki scored 48 goals in 90 games for Brøndby, and he was back in action.


Unable to agree on a new contract at Brøndby, several clubs expressed an interest, but it was Norwich who proposed the most attractive deal for Pukki, particularly given the expressive, passing style of football that the Canaries played that suited his game more. After scoring 29 goals in 43 Championship games to help Norwich win promotion to the Premier League, he has 6 goals in 8 games with Norwich continuing to keep faith in the system that has served them, and Pukki, so well.


It's true that Liverpool is by far the most popular team in the country, but Pukki's performances have led to an increase in demand for Norwich games to be shown live. So, goal accomplished, Teemu. Now, one last thing that would elevate Pukki to the same level as those two would be if he can score the goals to fire Finland to Euro 2020.


Only time, and "the real GOAT Pukki" will tell (Sorry, Leo).

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