Showing posts with label Italy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Italy. Show all posts

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Far-flung Finns - Përparim Hetemaj

After a winter break, the far-flung Finns series returns, looking at the Finnish international midfielder Përparim Hetemaj, now in his third season in Italy's Serie A.

While Hetemaj is not the stereotypical Finn (he was born in Serbia and has to bleach his hair blond), he is the sole Finn playing in the prestigious Serie A, and doing a fairly good job as well. With Serie A returning this weekend, Hetemaj has started 17 out of 19 games in the league and has accrued six yellow cards already (and a suspension).

In action against Napoli

He's certainly well-travelled, having played for AEK Athens, FC Twente and Brescia prior to his arrival in Verona. There have been rumours that he could be moving to Lazio, although it appears that they are solely from his admission that he is a Lazio supporter! That may explain the recent denial that he will be heading to Roma in January...

He made an impression on British audiences in August with a fantastic free-kick in the friendly against Northern Ireland in Belfast. He also scored in the 0-3 win away to Cyprus in November, his third goal in 18 full caps.

 The Finns celebrate the free-kick

Having just turned 26, he's at a good age for a transfer. But Chievo are in a decent 11th position in the league, and only Lazio finished 2012 stronger. He's still the only Finn to have scored a goal in Serie A.

His brother Mehmet currently plays in Serie B for Reggina, and they've played together for Finland U21. Thick as thieves? The photo below suggests so...

The last one to let go of the ball wins

Përparim is another name to keep an eye out for in January - will he end this season with Chievo? Watch this space.