Pukki to become Finland's best ever player, says former boss

Teemu Pukki of Norwich celebrates scoring his sideÕs 4th goal from the penalty spot during the Sky B

Teemu Pukki has been tipped to become Finland's best ever player by a former boss of the national team.

Teemu Pukki will become Finland's best-ever player, according to former national team boss Antti Muurinen.

City's top scorer has continued his club form on the international stage, with his late equaliser against Ukraine on Sunday enough to see him surpass Mikael Forssell and move within three goals of overtaking ex-Barcelona and Liverpool forward Jari Litmanen to become Finland's all-time top scorer. 

Eighteen of his international goals have arrived since he signed for the Canaries in 2018, and Muurinen, who managed Finland between 2000 and 2005, believes Pukki is on the way to becoming the best to ever represent his country

“That’s not just proven by goals and assists. Football has developed a lot since the time of Jari Litmanen and Mixu Paatelainen. It increases the value of Teemu. I know the eras are hard to compare. This year is enough for Pukki to become number one,” Muurinen told Finnish outlet Helsingin Sanomat.

“When you look at the qualities of Teemu, he radiates strength, self-confidence and confidence in performance. He makes it seem easy to do. 

“A good athlete needs good self-confidence, and all of these successes feed self-confidence. Teemu really only needs half a chance, and it becomes a dangerous situation anyway. 

“When Teemu stands alongside the defender, he almost always defeats him. The run is light and loose. Even if he has the ball with him, the opponent will not succeed. That is one indication of his enormous ability."

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Pukki has scored 12 goals in his last 14 matches for club and country. He looks to be firing City back to the Premier League after rediscovering his goal-scoring form as Daniel Farke's side have taken huge strides towards promotion.

HJK Helsinki coach Antti Muurinen (left) sits with his staff during the UEFA Champions League Second

Former Finland coach Antti Muurinen (left) has described City striker Teemu Pukki as Finland's best ever player. - Credit: PA

Despite his form at club level, Muurinen has backed Pukki to play at a higher level than the Canaries, believing he has earned the right to play for a club capable of competing for major trophies. 

“I hope Teemu gets a chance to play on some club team where he can win trophies. Now Norwich is getting promoted again, and then what happens again in the Premier League? I think Teemu earned even more. He is a great person and a great player. ”

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