The remarkable numbers behind the Pukki Party for Norwich City and Finland
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Teemu Pukki is celebrating his 31st birthday today and Norwich City's star striker could allow himself a big slice of cake, after a fantastic 14 goals in his last 12 games for club and country.
With the Pukki Party very much in full swing in Norfolk and Finland, with the potential of another Championship title triumph and European Championship preparations on the horizon, we thought it was time for a fresh tribute to the Canaries' lethal finisher.
Here are just a few of the birthday boy's remarkable achievements so far...
The number of appearances Pukki has made for the Canaries since joining on a free transfer from Danish side Brondby in the summer of 2018. All but 10 of his appearances have been starts.
Emphasising his role as a smiling assassin with ice in his veins, the striker has been shown just six yellow cards during his 119 appearances in English football.
- 1 NORWICH CITY ARE PROMOTED TO THE PREMIER LEAGUE
- 2 PROMOTION LIVE: Cherries and red card ruin City's party
- 3 Paddy's Pointers: Five observations from the Premier League-bound Canaries' 3-1 defeat against Bournemouth
- 4 Paddy Davitt: Player ratings after Canaries' 3-1 Bournemouth defeat
- 5 Banning orders and revenge mission wide of the mark for City chief
- 6 'Mission Accomplished' - Norwich City fans celebrate promotion
- 7 Farke braced for summer of speculation amid Frankfurt links
- 8 Operation Bounce Back: The story of City's promotion success
- 9 Farke savours sweet Premier League promotion after rollercoaster ride
- 10 “It was high on Ben and it was a red card' - Giannoulis bang to rights for Woodgate
Pukki's overall goal tally for City has surged recently thanks to 11 in his last 10 matches before joining up with Finland. Just 13 players have scored more in Canaries history with three needed to draw level with Ted MacDougall, Ron Davies and Jimmy Hill in 10th place.
Just six players managed a better goals-per-game rate than Pukki's, which is currently at 0.53. However, only two of that six made over 100 appearances - with Ralph Hunt (72 in 132) and Roy Hollis (59 in 107) averaging 0.55 - and all of them were playing in the third tier or before the club joined the Football League in 1920.
Of the Finn's tally for City, 51 of them have been scored in the Championship, from just 77 matches. His 29 goals during the title-winning campaign of 2018-19 earned him the division's Player of the Season award.
Since Division One was rebranded as the Championship in 2004 only one player has a better minutes-per-goal ratio than Pukki's average of every 132 minutes. That's Dwight Gayle, who has so far scored 59 in 100 games for Peterborough, Newcastle and West Brom (every 128 mins).
Next on the list are Chelsea and England's Tammy Abraham with 48 in 78 for Aston Villa and Bristol City (137 mins) and Sunderland legend Kevin Phillips with 78 in 189 for West Brom, Birmingham, Blackpool, Crystal Palace and Leicester (140 mins).
Those Championship goals have come from 106 shots on target and 257 attempts at goal overall, averaging a goal every 2.1 shots on target or every five attempts at goal.
The current campaign is the seventh in succession that Pukki's goal tally has reached double figures, having enjoyed a prolific four seasons in Denmark with Brondby before moving to Norfolk, winning the Danish Cup and narrowly missing out on the league title in 2018 prior to his switch.
His time with Schalke and Celtic may not have gone well prior to that success but his nine goals from 38 games in Scotland came from just 19 starts for the Bhoys, helping win the title in 2014 before being sold to Brondby early in 2014-15.
Pukki's late equalising spot-kick in Ukraine on Sunday was a hugely significant goal for him personally, edging him into second place overall in Finland's all-time top scorers' list, just two behind former Ajax, Barcelona and Liverpool forward Jari Litmanen, achieved from 137 caps between 1989 and 2010.
His brace in Thursday's 2-2 draw with Bosnia & Herzegovina in Helsinki had moved the Kotka-born star level with former Chelsea striker Mikael Forssell, having surpassed the 22 goals of former Norwich loanee Jonathan Johnasson in 2019.
What makes Pukki's international haul for the Nordic nation all the more impressive is that 18 of his 30 have been scored since moving to England in 2018, making international headlines as he fired the Finns to qualification for this summer's European Championship - their first ever major tournament.
His two appearances so far during the international window have also moved the Canaries star clear of Forssell into sixth in Finland's all-time appearances list. Next to catch is former PSV Eindhoven and Crystal Palace defender Joonas Kolkka on 98.
Just four players have reached triple figures, led by the legendary Litmanen on 137 ahead of former Liverpool centre-back Sami Hypia and former City striker Johansson on 105.
In 2019 the prolific forward was voted Finnish Sports Personality of the Year, the first footballer to win the award since Hypia in 2001, as voted for by the country's top journalists.
The gong is usually won by skiers or track and field athletes but other victors have included Litmanen, of course, and Formula One world champions Keke Rosberg and Mika Hakkinen. Pukki was also named the Finnish Football Association's Men's Player of the Year for 2019 and 2020.
We're putting our trust in the usually very reliable Transfermarkt.co.uk here, which puts the grand total of Pukki's club goals as he begins his 32nd year at a hugely respectable 176.
That's from breaking through as a 16-year-old with KTP in his hometown of Kotka, to his Spanish sojourn with Sevilla where he mostly played for their B team in the third tier, to starring for HJK Helsinki to earn his Bundesliga move to Schalke and then on to Celtic, Brondby and Norwich.
That current total of 176 is from 464 career appearances, leaving two further milestones to target with plenty of miles left in the tank yet. Add his international goals and it’s 206 from 553.
- You can watch the most recent of our interviews with Pukki below