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.