Cooking, cleaning and making the family dog nervous – Pukki’s mum sheds light on City star’s rise to fame
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Teemu Pukki is such a superstar in Finland at the moment that even the thoughts of his mother are making national headlines, revealing how she helped the Norwich City striker during his younger days.
A new book published in Finland, Futisäidin Käsikirja, which loosely translates to Football Mum's Handbook, offers advice to parents of aspiring athletes from those who helped their children to success in their sport.
The City striker's mother, Teija Pukki, is among those to offer their advice and is quoted in the book's publicity as saying: "Seeing your child's face after success is always a great feeling, whether they are a child or an adult."
Finnish newspaper Ilta Sanomat has seen the book and quoted parts about the country's current Premier League and international star - who has scored 44 goals in 66 games for club and country since joining Norwich on a free transfer in the summer of 2018.
"I did not usually watch the games with other parents, but on my own," Pukki's mum explained. "I have never been one to scream on the side of the pitch, I preferred during tense games to control my excitement somewhere to the side."
The prolific marksman's career went in a new direction at 18 years old when he moved to Spanish club Sevilla, after making the breakthrough in the Finnish league with KTP.
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After that season in Seville didn't work out Pukki got his career back on track with HJK Helsinki and then played in Germany for Schalke, in Scotland for Celtic and in Denmark for Brondby - and his mum was never far away.
"Before Teemu found his wife, I used to do a little more thorough cleaning at Teemu's apartment once a month, wherever he was playing in Europe. While I was staying I would make food for Teemu and his friend Luke (Finland goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky, who Pukki played with at Brondby)."
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Mrs Pukki goes on to say that she still gets very nervous when following her son's games online, joking: "My stress sometimes gets to the dog, it gets restless too!"
However, she tries not to read too much about Teemu's form or his team's fortunes, as she has found that reading the opinions of football fans and pundits can be difficult as a parent.
"Of course it feels good that my son is doing well in his profession," the report quotes her as saying. "But I'm not very active in reading things about Teemu or online forums. Success is celebrated, but the media is a ruthless world when things don't go well for the player or team.
"During difficult form for the national team, after each loss there was some tension between how the press reacted and how the players suffered."
Pukki is currently away with his national team-mates ahead of Euro 2020 qualification action, in Bosnia & Herzegovina on Saturday and at home to Armenia on Tuesday (both 5pm UK time) - with Finland having a fine chance of qualifying for their first major tournament.