Finnish mayor makes special visit to Carrow Road to cheer ‘icon’ Pukki
PUBLISHED: 16:20 15 February 2020 | UPDATED: 17:31 15 February 2020
Norwich City star Teemu Pukki’s status as an icon in Finland has been reinforced by a special visit to Carrow Road by the mayor of his home town.
Esa Sirviö, mayor of Kotka, has made his first visit to Norwich to see the Finnish international in Saturday's match against Premier League leaders Liverpool.
Pukki has become a household name and icon in his country as well as at Carrow Road.
He recently took home his country's top accolade of Finnish athlete of the year, as well as moment of the year for his part in helping his country qualify for Euro 2020.
Mr Sirviö thinks the Canaries will break Jurgen Klopp and his team's unbeaten streak with a 2-1 victory, with Pukki making the score sheet.
Even with Storm Dennis approaching, the Finnish mayor said he was enjoying walking around the city.
Mr Sirviö said: It's a really nice city. I like the mix of buildings, some old, some new.
"It's great to be here and finally watch him play for Norwich. Teemu is such a great player.
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"Our main sports are football and basketball and now with Teemu as famous as he is, guys and girls really look forward to playing football."
Kotka is in the south of Finland and the home of the country's biggest port.
It is known as the city of parks and the mayor extended a welcome to Norwich fans and residents alike.
Mr Sirviö added: "Every Norwich citizen is always welcome in the city of Kotka."
Joining Mr Sirviö is Pukki's long-term commercial manager Jouko Lehtoranta, who is now on his seventh visit to Norwich.
Mr Lehtoranta said: "More and more people are supporting Norwich.
"Everyone thinks Teemu is an icon, not only as a football player. Last year Teemu had an amazing year, he won all of the awards not only in the UK but in Finland as well.
"It's unbelievable the summer of 2018 when Teemu moved here from Denmark free of charge. The coaches were the only one knew who Teemu Pukki was.
"If you go into the city of Norwich I am sure if you ask 100 people who Teemu Pukki is 99 people least would know.
"I really hope that Norwich City will start to win matches and play next year in the Premier League."