‘Life is going well’ – Pukki feeling great as clinical form continues for Canaries
All is well in the world of Teemu Pukki right now and the striker’s beaming smile provided the evidence after his latest goal in Norwich City colours, against one of his former clubs.
After a glorious debut season with the Canaries which featured 30 goals, promotion and a host of awards, the 29-year-old added three further goals for Finland during two Euro 2020 qualifying wins in early June.
Two goals against Bosnia and another against Liechtenstein took last season's total to a hugely impressive 36 goals in 56 matches for club and country, during an off-season in which Pukki also got married and signed a new City contract.
"It was a great holiday and also a couple of games with the Finnish national team, which went well," the Finn said after scoring in a 2-1 friendly win over Schalke in Germany.
"Those goals also gave me confidence to come back and obviously it's always good to have a little break, so it was good for me.
"I got married, so life is going well."
Friday night's victory over Bundesliga side Schalke completed a positive pre-season tour of Germany for City, although the winning margin could have been greater.
Pukki was given a warm reception by the Schalke fans throughout the evening as well, despite having lashed home a Patrick Roberts through-ball in the 13th minute, having scored eight goals in 47 games for the Gelsenkirchen club between 2011 and 2013.
"It was really nice to get that kind of reception, it must mean I did something right when I was here, so it means a lot," he said with a smile.
"It's always nice to score, especially against your old teams.
"I think playing-wise it was not our best game but it's still pre-season. To beat a Bundesliga team is always good, it gives us confidence for the rest of the games.
"But we had a lot of chances, we should have scored much more. It was more like counter-attacks and we couldn't play our game.
"We should have scored more out of those but at least we created chances out of them, so that's good."
City also drew 2-2 with Bundesliga II club Arminia Bielfeld and beat fourth-tier side SC Bonner, in which Pukki also scored, before flying home from the North Rhine-Westphalia region on Saturday.
"It's been really good work," the forward added. "It's been tough, we've been training hard but it's helping us. It's been nice to spend time with the players, more than we do in Norwich."