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Four Best Finnish Soccer Players of All Time

BeSoccer by BeSoccer @besoccer_com - 0 533

Pin Temmu Pukki of Norwich (2R) is one of Finland's greatest ever football players. AFP
Temmu Pukki of Norwich (2R) is one of Finland's greatest ever football players. AFP

Four Best Finnish Soccer Players of All Time

BeSoccer by BeSoccer @besoccer_com - 0 533

There were not so many top footballers from Finland in the past, but the gambling industry in the country has changed all that. Liverpool's Samii Hyypia was perhaps the most well known player in the past, but now there are more and more footballers from the country such as Teemu Pukki.

Historically, the Finnish soccer scene has been at a low status since the introduction of the game in the country in the late 19th century by English sailors. Nonetheless, the Finnish gambling industry has helped revive the game in the country, producing remarkable international stars. Players like Antti Niemi, Jari Litmanen, among others, have booked their spots in international clubs, leading to the growth of the local betting scene

If you’re a football enthusiast, here’s a list of the top four Finnish football players of all time. 

Teemu Pukki

A Finnish football player born in March 1990, Teemu Pukki plays as a striker for Premier League side, Norwich City and Finland’s national team. Teemu began his football career in KTP at 16 years, playing in their under-19 team. In 2008, he left KTP for Sevilla before returning to HJK in his home country after a single game. 

In 2011, Teemu managed to record 11 goals and got into the Veikkausliiga all-stars squad. He also played for the German side, Schalke 04, Danish Brondby IF and the Scottish team, Celtic.  Despite joining Norwich on a free transfer in 2008, he won the player of the season award in the 2018/2019 EFL Championship.

Jari Litmanen

A retired Finnish Footballer, Jari Litmanen is better known with his nickname, “The King”. Arguably, Litmanen may be the most famous footballer of all time from Finland. He captained the Finnish national team for over a decade (1996-2008), after starting his career at 16 years with Reipas.

During his football career, “The King” played for several Finnish teams like Mypa, Lahti, HJK and Reipas. Abroad, he played for Liverpool, Amsterdam, Ajax; and Barcelona. He also won the Eredivisie league for five times while with Ajax and recorded 96 goals. In the UEFA Champions League, he also scored 23 goals.

Lukas Hradecky

Lukas Hradecky is a Finnish goalkeeper born in November 1989 in Slovakia. Lukas plays for Bayer Leverkusen and Finland’s national team. His career began at Turun Palloseura and got named the best goalkeeper during the u-19 International Karel Stageman tournament hosted in the Netherlands in 2008.

In 2009, he joined Esbjerg FB where he won his first trophy during his third season. His contribution also helped Esbjerg to take home the Danish Cup in 2013. During that year, he also played for Brondby on a free transfer. Additionally, he played for Eintracht Frankfurt in 2015, before joining Bayer Leverkusen in 2018.

Sami Hyypia

A former football manager and Finnish defender, Sami Hyypia began his professional soccer career at Kumu before moving to MyPa. He joined Willem II in 1995 and became the team captain, helping them book a spot in the UEFA Champions League. For that reason, Sami took the player of the year award and moved to Liverpool in 1999.

While with Liverpool, he won his first honor in 2005. From 2009, he played for the German side Bayer Leverkusen and retired as a player in 2011. Nonetheless, his contribution to the Finnish national team remains prominent. Additionally, he’s the second-most capped Finnish player after Jari Litmanen.

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