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Mifk – HJK 0-0

I have waited this for a very long time. It was 100% adrenalin and 60% fitness level. But just being there was one of the sweetest personal victories ever. I had finally overcome my Ice Age and was playing football again. Not denying, though, that I was still a bit cold as a footballer.

It still happened… that one moment the one and a half year on a bike hadn’t taken away from me. I saw the perfect opportunity. I was tired but still made the run inside the box. A great ball from Dawda Bah. I look at the keeper and make a decision. I accelerate for the ball… only to realize that my acceleration has stayed behind somewhere at the excessive time spent at treatment room. In the last minutes of my first official 90 minutes of the year I just don’t have the power switch anymore… rather a hand break. Yep, I missed it and we end up 0-0 against a good Mifk side and home performance. The level of the game was decent and support from both sides were excellent… thank you for everyone about the great support and welcome to me.

Truth is out there in X-files but for footballers it is in your face. You can train as much as you want but it is different than playing. Playing football is a lot about decision making, self confidence and effectiveness. Ability, tricks, experience and talent won’t get you long. You got to play games. I have done over 450 in my professional career but lacked off recent appearances. My comeback was a diet coke, a poor substitute, it could have been the real deal if I had nailed the chance in which my legs didn’t agree yet.

Now I am back home with HJK after 11 years of absence in European football. It was the right thing to do. I started with the club when I was six years old, played through the youth system and it is the only club in Finland I have ever been contracted for. I moved for other challenges back in 1998 after a great Champions League saga we had with the most successful club from Finland. So would I take an economical choice from Greece? It was tempting, especially with my current mortgage. Would it have been a sports choice or something that would have mattered to me? No. I thanked also the Finnish clubs for their interest but it would not have felt right even to take their offers as HJK is my club in Finland. I have always said it doesn’t matter that much what I do but why I do it! And with whom. Now I am there where I belong just now.


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