teemu tainio - fact file

2005 - 2008        midfielder


Born on 27th November 1979 in Tornio, Finland.

Height : -  1.75 m (5' 8")

Weight : -  77.9 kgs

A Spurs fan who shows a desire to do well for the club, especially his innate ability to pick out ex-Arsenal players in the opposition side for his trademark tough tackling.

The midfielder has had a varied career, with an early start as a 14 year old playing for his hometown team Third Division TP-47 of Kakkonen.  As a 17 year old, Teemu moved to FC Haka in 1996, where his appearances for club in youth tournaments caught the eye of French club AJ Auxerre and he moved there the following season to spend a lengthy spell in Bourgogne.  He was also tracked by Werder Bremen, PSV Eindhoven, AS Milan and Manchester United at the time in 1997.  It appears that we have Finnish national service to thank for him not joining the Old Trafford club, as Teemu had to return home from a trial at the club to do his Army duty just when Alex Ferguson was set to sign him up after he scored four goals in two reserve games.

Made his debut for Finland in 1998 as a 18 year old and has since held down a regular place in the national side.

Playing in the Auxerre first team on a regular basis improved Tainio's game and he has had the experience of playing Champions League football with the French side too. 

As his contract was due to expire in the summer of 2005, Tottenham made a move to seal the transfer of the player by negotiating a move in January of that year and Teemu came to the club he supported as a boy in the summer of 2005 on a free transfer. 

His talents have been deployed on the left of midfield in a holding role, where his skill is best utilised.  Possessing a good range of passing and the vision to pick out team-mates, it's not only the technical side of the game he is good at, as he gets stuck into tackles and this has sometimes meant he has missed games with injuries.  His versatility has been demonstrated by filling in on the left wing and in defence when necessity has required it.

Teemu has weighed in with some goals at international level and was keen to get forward into the penalty area to get on the end of chances, which would benefit Spurs, who needed goals from midfield. 

A popular player among Spurs fans, the team looked a lot more solid when he was in the side and his European experience came in useful in the UEFA Cup campaign in 2006-07.

During the 2007-08 season, Tainio featured less often, with new manager Juande Ramos using him in a right back position or sometimes as a defensive midfielder, but more often as a substitute.  His appearance off the bench in the League Cup final against Chelsea was intended to shore up the Spurs midfield and his feisty exchange with Drogba showed how much the win meant to him, as a Spurs fan.

At the season's end, with Ramos looking to re-shape the squad with his own players, Teemu was adjudged to be surplus to requirements and joined Roy Keane's Sunderland on a three year deal.  Played infrequently at the Stadium of Light and failed to persuade new manager Steve Bruce that he should be a first team player, so went out firstly on loan to Birmingham City where he had few outings and then, when his contract was mutually cancelled, he signed for former Spurs boss, Martin Jol, now in charge at Ajax.  Was hardly a regular at the Dutch club and he left after a season to find his fortune in the US playing for New York Red Bulls.


Career Record
Club Signed Fee Debut Apps Goals
TP-47 Tornio (Finland) ?? ?? ??  ?? ??
FC Valkeakosen Haka (Finland) 1996 ?? v RoPS 28th April 1996 23 4
AJ Auxerre (France) 1997 ?? v RC Lens 9th May 1998 175 16
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR Summer 2005 Free Portsmouth (Away) 13th August 2005  Won 2-0 83 ??
Sunderland 23rd July 2008 Undisclosed ??  21 0
Birmingham City 1st September 2009 Loan 13th September 2009 v Aston Villa (Premier League) (home)  lost 0-1 6 0
Ajax (Holland) 31st August 2010 Free 11th September 2010 v  Willem II  (Eredivisie)  won 2-0 ?? ??
New York Red Bulls (USA) 4th March 2011 Free 19th March 2011  v Seattle Sounders (MLS)  won 1-0 ?? ??
- ?? ?? ??  ?? ??

Career Record : -  
Tp-47 Tornio

FC Valkeakosken Haka
20 League appearances, 4 goals
3 UEFA Cup appearances
AJ Auxerre
150 League appearance, 14 goals
?? French Cup appearances; ?? goals
7 Champions League appearances; 0 goals
18 UEFA Cup appearances; 2 goals
- League appearances; goals
- FA Cup appearances; goals
- League Cup appearances; goals
- UEFA Cup appearances; goals
- Other appearances; goals
League appearances; goals
FA Cup appearances; goals
League Cup appearances; goals
- Other appearances; goals

Birmingham City (loan)
League appearances; goals
FA Cup appearances; goals
League Cup appearances; goals
UEFA Cup appearances; goals
- Other appearances; goals

Ajax (Holland)
League appearances; goals
Dutch Cup appearances; goals
League Cup appearances; goals
- European appearances; goals

New York Red Bulls (USA)
League appearances; goals
- Other appearances; goals

- -
League appearances; goals
FA Cup appearances; goals
League Cup appearances; goals
Other appearances; goals

Finland international
51 full caps;  6 goals  (as of 04.03.2011)
Debut : v Cyprus (Limassol) 5th February 1998
20 Under-21 caps; ?? goals
15 Youth caps; ?? goals
League Cup winners medal 2007-2008  (THFC)
Finnish Championship winners medal 1997
French Cup winners medal 2002-03


If he hadn't been a footballer, he would have been a football manager
Favourite Arnold Schwarzenegger film : The Terminator
Best thing about living in London : the weather ... it doesn't rain every day
Worst thing about living in London : the traffic
Was a Spurs fan since 10 years old in the 1980s and watched Gascoigne, Lineker and Ginola on the TV
Favourite Spurs Player of all time : David Ginola
Enjoys ice hockey and golf (being the best player at the club !!)
Can play air guitar !!
Lives in Abridge, Essex




What they said about Teemu Tainio
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What Teemu Tainio said about ...
... moving to Sunderland, when a lot of players won't go that far North ...  31.07.2008 (Daily Mirror)

"I'm originally from Lapland so I don't really mind where I live.

This is warm in comparison to Lapland. You see the training facilities, they're beautiful, really good, and the whole area is wonderful too. I really think we can do well. And success helps you to bring more players in.

I heard about Sunderland's interest on the Friday and I was up here on Saturday .  I had a good chat with the manager (Roy Keane) and he gave me a good feeling that the club really wants to push on."

... leaving Spurs ...  02.08.2008 (Daily Mirror)

"The last year at Spurs was quite frustrating.  I was playing out of position at left back or right back.  I have never played there before.  The lads who had played under Martin Jol suddenly didn't play any more, so there was a feeling that something was going to happen with the changes and three of us are here (at Sunderland) now."

... ? ...  .. ()




Season League FA Cup League Cup Champions League UEFA Cup
1996-1997  (FC Valkeakosken Haka) 20 (4 goals) - - - 3 (0 goals)
1997-1998  (Auxerre) 1 (0 goals) - - - -
1998-1999  (Auxerre) 13 (1 goal) - - - -
1999-2000  (Auxerre) 25 (3 goals) - - - -
2000-2001  (Auxerre) 10 (1 goal) - - - -
2001-2002  (Auxerre) 28 (3 goals) - - - -
2002-2003  (Auxerre) 25 (1 goal) - - 7 (0 goals) 4 (0 goals)
2003-2004  (Auxerre) 22 (3 goals) - - - 7 (1 goal)
2004-2005  (Auxerre) 20 (2 goals) - - - 7 (1 goal)
2005-2006 - - - - -
2006-2007 - - - - -
2007-2008 - - - - -

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