Norwich striker Teemu Pukki’s last name a blast with Malaysians, bane for local pundits

Emmanuel Santa Maria Chin
Norwich City’s Teemu Pukki celebrates his hat-trick with the match ball after the Premier League match with Newcastle United at Carrow Road in Norwich August 17, 2019. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 6 — Teemu Pukki, the Finn making waves in the English Premier League (EPL) right now, is quite hot with Malaysians right now.

The Norwich striker’s soaring popularity here — notwithstanding his smashing goal against Chelsea in last month’s EPL match — can be attributed in part to his last name, which is spelt similar to and pronounced exactly like a colloquial cuss word that is a vulgar reference to the vagina.

While sportscasters in Europe like Peter Drury have no qualms shouting out the 29-year-old’s name in broadcasts, his name is proving a headache for their local counterparts, as shared by former Liverpool FC player Stan Collymore who is now a commentator with Stadium Astro in a recent tweet.

However, Malaysian EPL fans — as well as some others in South-east Asia — appear to be having the time of their lives on social media, making #Pukki one of the most trending hashtags on Twitter last week.

Collymore’s tweet has since been re-tweeted 355 times, and liked more than 700 times by not so bashful users.

“Pukki! I wondered why so many people looked at my Norwich shirt funny when I went holiday there,” read a tweet by @humanmale1984.

“Load of Pukkis on here abusing you regularly Great posts from a top player,” said another by @kellybrian71.

 “Lets hope he leaves Chelsea looking like a bunch of Pukki’s today like he did Newcastle,” tweeted @mark_hurren, referring to a hat trick of goals Pukki scored against The Magpies in a fixture last month.  

Filipino Twitter users were also quick to point out that the striker’s last name carries a similarly vulgar meaning in Tagalog.

“Ya bro, it means Vagina also. FYI, Tagalog and Bahasa Melayu there is a lot same in the meaning,” @abarwea posted.

In all fairness, Pukki rightfully deserves attention.

It has only been a month into the European footballing calendar year, and Pukki already has nine goals for club and country to his name, most recently scoring a penalty this morning against Greece in Finlands’ Euro 2020 qualifier match.

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