Interviews

Teemu Pukki: "When Norwich came in for me, my first reaction was, ‘No chance!’"

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Teemu Pukki has told FourFourTwo that he thought a career in the Premier League would never come – but initially didn't want to play Championship football last season.

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Pukki had just hit double digits for the second consecutive season at Brondby in the Danish Superliga, when Norwich came calling for him on a free transfer in the summer of 2018.

The Canaries had been out of the Premier League for two seasons, and the forward admitted that he had preconceptions about playing in England’s second tier.

“There was a lot of interest from all around the world,” he reveals in the January 2020 issue of FourFourTwo, out in shops on Tuesday. “When Norwich came in, my first reaction was, ‘No chance!’ 

“I didn’t know very much about the Championship and thought it was long balls and fighting, which isn’t the case any more – maybe 10 years ago it was like that. 

“I told my agent, ‘I don’t think it would be a good move for me’, but he said I should at least talk with the manager, Daniel Farke and Stuart Webber, the sporting director. 

“They explained how they played football, and that they’d both been following me since I was at Schalke. They knew me really well as a footballer and had done some background research on me as a person, asking those who know me, so they knew I’d fit with the team.”

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The Finnish forward was far from finished with his goalscoring exploits upon joining Farke’s side, scoring 29 goals for Norwich in an incredible debut season which ended in promotion as champions.

Pukki won the Championship Player of the Season award for his goalscoring exploits, and said that even he was surprised by how many he scored. 

He adds: “I’d had two good seasons at Brondby, so I was confident when I arrived – but 29, that’s more than I thought. 

“When we won promotion, it was an amazing feeling. When I was in Denmark, I didn’t think there was even a chance to reach the Premier League anymore – I thought the top leagues were out of my reach.”

Read the full interview with Teemu Pukki in the January 2020 issue of FourFourTwo magazine, out in shops and available digitally from Tuesday, December 17. Our belting awards special features a return of our 100 Best Players in the World list, plus exclusive interviews with Megan Rapinoe, Brendan Rodgers, Santi Cazorla, Vincent Kompany, Gilberto Silva, Kleberson Wesley and many more. We also find out how Lyon Feminin became the most dominant side in world football, remember a mad decade of fun and visit Japan to find out more about their very own Barcelona-lite, Vissel Kobe.

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