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Footballer Pukki named Finland's player of the year

The Finnish Football Association handed its top award to Norwich City striker Teemu Pukki.

Teemu Pukki juhlii Norwichin nousua Suomen lipun kanssa.
Teemu Pukki celebrates Norwich City's promotion with a Finnish flag Image: AOP

Footballer Teemu Pukki added to his impressive haul of awards and trophies for the 2018-2019 season when he received the player of the year gong from the Finnish Football Association on Tuesday evening.

The 29-year-old Kotka native had already picked up the English Championship player of the year; the division's top scorer of the year; as well as a Championship winner's medal during a very successful first season in English football. Pukki's goals and performances were instrumental in ensuring his Norwich City side will play in England's top division, the Premier League, next season.

On the international stage, Pukki's three goals in six games propelled Finland to the top of their Nations League group. He now sits in fourth place with 15 goals on Finland's all-time goal-scoring chart behind Mikael Forssell (28 goals), Jari Litmanen (25), and Jonatan Johansson (18).

Teemu Pukki
Teemu Pukki in action for Finland against Estonia in the Nations League Image: Martti Kainulainen / Lehtikuva

Pukki will be hoping he can further add to his goal tally on Saturday, 8 June, at Tampere's Ratina stadium where the "Eagle-Owls" continue their quest to qualify for next summer's European Championship finals against Bosnia and Herzegovina.

'Respect Award' for long-serving physio

Paavo Leiramo, who has served Finnish national teams for more than four decades as a physiotherapist, received the 'Respect Award' from the Football Association at the awards ceremony. The award recognises the efforts of individuals who show a spirit of respect in their actions either on or off the field.

Juventus defender and stalwart of the Finnish women's national team, Tuija Hyyrynen, also picked up the Frenckell Medal - awarded to players who represent Finland 100 times.

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