One team for Teemu
15 January 2016|Tottenham Hotspur
It might be a match between two of his former teams – but don’t expect a neutral’s view from Teemu Tainio ahead of tomorrow's (Saturday, January 16) clash against Sunderland.
The popular ex-midfielder is visiting from his native Finland and will take in the Premier League encounter at the Lane (12.45pm).
The all-action Finnish international played his part as we got back into Europe and challenged at the top end of the Premier League again in his spell here between 2005-2008. He came off the bench to help us lift the League Cup against Chelsea in 2008 before joining Sunderland ahead of the 2008-09 campaign.
Teemu went on to play for the Black Cats, Birmingham, Ajax, New York Red Bulls and went back home to Helskini before calling time on his career in February last year.
Below: Spurs TV exclusive - Teemu Tainio
A Spurs fan from his childhood growing up in Lapland, Teemu lived the dream of playing for the club he loves - so it’s no surprise when we asked him to preview Saturday’s match that he was quickly talking about ‘we’ and ‘us’!
“I’m Spurs through and through, ever since I was seven or eight years old,” he said. “I’ve always been a Spurs fan and there is only one club for me.
“Of course, I also have a little feeling for Sunderland and I hope they stay up.
“I saw the same game last season and on that day we won the three points (a 2-1 win) so hopefully it will be the same scenario.
“It will be interesting. We’re at the top end of the table but Sunderland really need the points as well. It will be a tough game - you don’t get anything for free in the Premier League.
“Hopefully I’ll see us take the three points again, although we’ll have to be careful of my old team-mate and goalscorer Jermain Defoe!”
A real character on and off the pitch, Teemu admitted he missed playing - but he’s quickly found another sport to somewhat fill the void.
“You know, sometimes you just have to call it a day and the time was right for me,” he said after a career spanning 18 years, clubs in five different countries and 64 Finland caps.
“I’ve started playing some sports that I didn’t have time for when I was playing football. I play ice hockey now! You have to be careful when I’m on the skates!”