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Another gong for the GOAT: Pukki named Finnish Athlete of the Year

PUBLISHED: 21:19 16 January 2020 | UPDATED: 21:19 16 January 2020

Teemu Pukki of Norwich with the trophy at the end of the Sky Bet Championship match at Villa Park, Birmingham
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267
05/05/2019

Teemu Pukki of Norwich with the trophy at the end of the Sky Bet Championship match at Villa Park, Birmingham Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267 05/05/2019

Paul Chesterton

The embarrassment of awards collected by Norwich City striker Teemu Pukki has swelled again this evening, with the talismanic centre forward winning a top gong in his home country.

The fit-again forward will head into the Canaries' crucial Premier League encounter with Bournemouth this weekend having just been named Finnish Ahtlete of the Year.

The striker was on hand in Helsinki to accept the top prize at the annual Finland Urheilgaala (Sports Gala) at the Hartwall Arena in the nation's capital.

Pukki fended off competition from Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky and Formula One driver Valtteri Bottas to win Finland's equivalent to the Sports Personality of the Year.

And not satisfied with one award, City's star man was also handed Moment of the Year in his role in sealing Finland's first ever qualification for a major tournament and Team of the Year.

The 29-year-old told Canaries.co.uk: "I'm really honoured. It's been a crazily good year; we did some amazing things with Norwich and of course with Finland as well.

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"It's been a long, long journey to be here in the Premier League and playing at the Euros. I need to thank all my teammates and the coaches from all my previous teams.

"It's so hard to pick one player to win an award like this because football is a team sport and as a striker you need other players to make you shine.

"They will create the chances and without them, I can't do what I do. I'm thankful to them and my family as well. They've been supporting me through the good and bad times.

"It's nice that the people in Finland have recognised what I've been doing. Qualifying for the Euros meant a lot to Finnish people.

"Many things have happened to me recently that I never thought would happen but now I'm in the Premier League and going to the EUROs. Everything will happen if you work hard."

The award is the latest in a long line of prizes won by the Finn since arriving at Carrow Road last summer, which has seen him lift the Barry Butler Trophy for Norwich City's player of the season, Sky Bet Championship player of the season and Premier League player of the month for August.

He has scored nine Premier League goals for the Canaries, having plundered 30 goals in all competitions in the 2018/19 season.

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