Finland - Player of the Year Awards

There are two different "Player of the Year" awards in Finland. The sports journalists have elected their "Player of the Year" since 1947, the Finnish FA theirs since 1953. Both awards were originally for the calendar year (i.e. the Finnish league season), but in 2016 the award of the Finnish FA was changed to cover the European season from autumn to spring.

The Player of the Year in the Finnish domestic league has been elected since 1990, based on a vote among the players themselves. All players in the Finnish league are eligible, no matter their nationality.


Awards by the Sports Journalists

1947     Leo Turunen               Sudet Helsinki
1948     Thure Sarnola (gk)        HPS Helsinki
1949     Aulis Rytkönen            KuPS Kuopio
1950     Aulis Rytkönen            KuPS Kuopio
1951     Kalevi Lehtovirta         Pyrkivä Turku
1952     Aulis Rytkönen            KuPS Kuopio
1953     Mauno Rintanen (gk)       HJK Helsinki
1954     Matti Hiltunen            KPT Kuopio
1955     Matti Jokinen (gk)        VIFK Vaasa
1956     Lauri Lehtinen            HJK Helsinki
1957     Alpo Lintamo              HPS Helsinki
1958     Kai Pahlman               HPS Helsinki
1959     Unto Nevalainen           HIFK Helsinki
1960     Juhani Peltonen           Haka Valkeakoski
1961     Olli Heinonen             Reipas Lahti
1962     Juhani Peltonen           Haka Valkeakoski
1963     Olli Heinonen             Reipas Lahti
1964     Juhani Peltonen           Haka Valkeakoski / Hamburger SV (Ger)
1965     Juhani Peltonen           Hamburger SV (Ger)
1966     Matti Mäkelä              UponP Lahti
1967     Lars Näsman (gk)          UponP Lahti
1968     Timo Nummelin             TPS Turku
1969     Seppo Kilponen            OPS Oulu
1970     Timo Kautonen             Reipas Lahti
1971     Arto Tolsa                Beerschot VAV (Bel)
1972     Miikka Toivola            TPS Turku
1973     Jouko Suomalainen         KPT Kuopio
1974     Arto Tolsa                Beerschot VAV (Bel)
1975     Göran Enckelman (gk)      TPS Turku
1976     Aki Heiskanen             KPT Kuopio
1977     Arto Tolsa                Beerschot VAV (Bel)
1978     Atik Ismail               HJK Helsinki
1979     Seppo Pyykkö              OPS Oulu
1980     Aki Lahtinen              OPS Oulu
1981     Juha Dahllund             HJK Helsinki
1982     Pasi Rautiainen           Werder Bremen (Ger) / Arminia Bielefeld (Ger)
1983     Kari Ukkonen              Cercle Brugge (Bel)
1984     Olli Huttunen (gk)        Haka Valkeakoski
1985     Ismo Lius                 Kuusysi Lahti
1986     Esa Pekonen               Kuusysi Lahti
1987     Ari Hjelm                 Ilves Tampere
1988     Mika-Matti Paatelainen    Dundee United (Sco)
1989     Ari Heikkinen             TPS Turku
1990     Jari Litmanen             Reipas Lahti
1991     Marko Myyry               KSC Lokeren (Bel)
1992     Jari Litmanen             MyPa Myllykoski / AFC Ajax (Ned)
1993     Jari Litmanen             AFC Ajax (Ned)
1994     Jari Litmanen             AFC Ajax (Ned)
1995     Jari Litmanen             AFC Ajax (Ned)
1996     Jari Litmanen             AFC Ajax (Ned)
1997     Jari Litmanen             AFC Ajax (Ned)
1998     Jari Litmanen             AFC Ajax (Ned)
1999     Sami Hyypiä               Willem II (Ned) / Liverpool FC (Eng)
2000     Sami Hyypiä               Liverpool FC (Eng)
2001     Sami Hyypiä               Liverpool FC (Eng)
2002     Sami Hyypiä               Liverpool FC (Eng)
2003     Sami Hyypiä               Liverpool FC (Eng)
2004     Antti Niemi (gk)          Southampton FC (Eng)
2005     Sami Hyypiä               Liverpool FC (Eng)
2006     Sami Hyypiä               Liverpool FC (Eng)
2007     Jussi Jääskeläinen (gk)   Bolton Wanderers (Eng)
2008     Petri Pasanen             Werder Bremen (Ger)
2009     Sami Hyypiä               Liverpool FC (Eng) / Bayer Leverkusen (Ger)
2010     Sami Hyypiä               Bayer Leverkusen (Ger)
2011     Roman Eremenko            Dynamo Kyiv (Ukr) / Rubin Kazan (Rus)
2012     Niklas Moisander          AZ Alkmaar (Ned) / AFC Ajax (Ned)
2013     Niklas Moisander          AFC Ajax (Ned)
2014     Roman Eremenko            Rubin Kazan (Rus) / CSKA Moskva (Rus)
2015     Roman Eremenko            CSKA Moskva (Rus)
2016     Lukas Hradecky (gk)       Eintracht Frankfurt (Ger)

Most Awards per Player

9  Sami Hyypiä            1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010
8  Jari Litmanen          1990, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998
4  Juhani Peltonen        1960, 1962, 1964, 1965
3  Roman Eremenko         2011, 2014, 2015
   Aulis Rytkönen         1949, 1950, 1952
   Arto Tolsa             1971, 1974, 1977
2  Olli Heinonen          1961, 1963
   Niklas Moisander       2012, 2013

The sports journalists elect also the Finnish "Athlete of the Year" among
all sports disciplines. That award has been won by a football player twice:
1995 (Jari Litmanen) and 2001 (Sami Hyypiä).


Awards by the Finnish FA

1953     Mauno Rintanen (gk)       HJK Helsinki
1954     Pekka Kupiainen           Jäntevä Kotka
1955     Matti Jokinen (gk)        VIFK Vaasa
1956     Lauri Lehtinen            HJK Helsinki
1957     Alpo Lintamo              HPS Helsinki
1958     Kai Pahlman               HPS Helsinki
1959     Unto Nevalainen           HIFK Helsinki
1960     Juhani Peltonen           Haka Valkeakoski
1961     Olli Heinonen             Reipas Lahti
1962     Juhani Peltonen           Haka Valkeakoski
1963     Olli Heinonen             Reipas Lahti
1964     Juhani Peltonen           Haka Valkeakoski / Hamburger SV (Ger)
1965     Lars Näsman (gk)          UponP Lahti
1966     Pertti Mäkipää            UponP Lahti
1967     Timo Kautonen             Reipas Lahti
1968     Jouni Jalonen             TPS Turku
1969     Tommy Lindholm            HIFK Helsinki
1970     Timo Kautonen             Reipas Lahti
1971     Arto Tolsa                Beerschot VAV (Bel)
1972     Miikka Toivola            TPS Turku
1973     Jouko Suomalainen         KPT Kuopio
1974     Arto Tolsa                Beerschot VAV (Bel)
1975     Göran Enckelman (gk)      TPS Turku
1976     Ari Mäkynen               VPS Vaasa
1977     Arto Tolsa                Beerschot VAV (Bel)
1978     Miikka Toivola            HJK Helsinki
1979     Seppo Pyykkö              OPS Oulu
1980     Aki Lahtinen              OPS Oulu
1981     Aki Lahtinen              OPS Oulu / Notts County (Eng)
1982     Olli Huttunen (gk)        Haka Valkeakoski
1983     Kari Ukkonen              Cercle Brugge (Bel)
1984     Olli Huttunen (gk)        Haka Valkeakoski
1985     Jukka Ikäläinen           KePS Kemi
1986     Petri Tiainen             Kuusysi Lahti / AFC Ajax (Ned)
1987     Ari Hjelm                 Ilves Tampere
1988     Mika-Matti Paatelainen    Dundee United (Sco)
1989     Jari Europaeus            RoPS Rovaniemi
1990     Jari Litmanen             Reipas Lahti
1991     Marko Myyry               KSC Lokeren (Bel)
1992     Jari Litmanen             MyPa Myllykoski / AFC Ajax (Ned)
1993     Jari Litmanen             AFC Ajax (Ned)
1994     Jari Litmanen             AFC Ajax (Ned)
1995     Jari Litmanen             AFC Ajax (Ned)
1996     Jari Litmanen             AFC Ajax (Ned)
1997     Jari Litmanen             AFC Ajax (Ned)
1998     Jari Litmanen             AFC Ajax (Ned)
1999     Sami Hyypiä               Willem II (Ned) / Liverpool FC (Eng)
2000     Jari Litmanen             FC Barcelona (Esp)
2001     Sami Hyypiä               Liverpool FC (Eng)
2002     Sami Hyypiä               Liverpool FC (Eng)
2003     Sami Hyypiä               Liverpool FC (Eng)
2004     Antti Niemi (gk)          Southampton FC (Eng)
2005     Sami Hyypiä               Liverpool FC (Eng)
2006     Sami Hyypiä               Liverpool FC (Eng)
2007     Jussi Jääskeläinen (gk)   Bolton Wanderers (Eng)
2008     Sami Hyypiä               Liverpool FC (Eng)
2009     Sami Hyypiä               Liverpool FC (Eng) / Bayer Leverkusen (Ger)
2010     Sami Hyypiä               Bayer Leverkusen (Ger)
2011     Roman Eremenko            Dynamo Kyiv (Ukr) / Rubin Kazan (Rus)
2012     Niklas Moisander          AZ Alkmaar (Ned) / AFC Ajax (Ned)
2013     Niklas Moisander          AFC Ajax (Ned)
2014     Roman Eremenko            Rubin Kazan (Rus) / CSKA Moskva (Rus)
2015     Tim Sparv                 FC Midtjylland (Den)
2015/16  Lukas Hradecky (gk)       Eintracht Frankfurt (Ger)
2016/17  Lukas Hradecky (gk)       Eintracht Frankfurt (Ger)

Most Awards per Player

9  Sami Hyypiä            1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010
   Jari Litmanen          1990, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000
3  Juhani Peltonen        1960, 1962, 1964
   Arto Tolsa             1971, 1974, 1977
2  Roman Eremenko         2011, 2014
   Olli Heinonen          1961, 1963
   Lukas Hradecky (gk)    2016, 2017
   Olli Huttunen (gk)     1982, 1984
   Timo Kautonen          1967, 1970
   Aki Lahtinen           1980, 1981
   Niklas Moisander       2012, 2013
   Miikka Toivola         1972, 1978


Player of the Year in the Finnish Domestic League

1990     Jari Litmanen             Reipas Lahti
1991     Kimmo Tarkkio             Haka Valkeakoski
1992     Antti Niemi (gk)          HJK Helsinki
1993     Jari Rantanen             FinnPa Helsinki
1994     Petri Sulonen             TPS Turku
1995     Valeri Popovitch          Haka Valkeakoski
1996     Jari Vanhala              Jaro Pietarsaari
1997     Alexei Eremenko           Jaro Pietarsaari
1998     Valeri Popovitch          Haka Valkeakoski
1999     Valeri Popovitch          Haka Valkeakoski
2000     Shefki Kuqi               Jokerit Helsinki
2001     Paulus Roiha              HJK Helsinki
2002     Valeri Popovitch          Haka Valkeakoski
2003     Valeri Popovitch          Haka Valkeakoski
2004     Antti Pohja               TamU Tampere
2005     "Adriano" [1]             MyPa Myllykoski
2006     Jarkko Wiss               TamU Tampere
2007     Juska Savolainen          TamU Tampere
2008     Dominic Chatto            Inter Turku
2009     Wayne Brown               TPS Turku
2010     "Medo" [2]                HJK Helsinki
2011     Timo Furuholm             Inter Turku
2012     Irakli Sirbiladze         Inter Turku
2013     Tim Väyrynen              Honka Espoo
2014     Robin Lod                 HJK Helsinki
2015     Aleksandr Kokko           RoPS Rovaniemi
2016     Emile Paul Tendeng        Ilves Tampere

[1] full name Adriano Thiel Munoz
[2] full name Mohamed Kamara

Most Awards per Player

5  Valeri Popovitch       1995, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2003

No other player has won the award more than once.

gk = goalkeeper


About this document

Prepared and maintained by Heikki Pietarinen for the Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation

Author: Heikki Pietarinen (hegulino at gmail dot com)
Last updated: 20 Jul 2017

(C) Copyright Heikki Pietarinen and RSSSF 2001/17
You are free to copy this document in whole or part provided that proper acknowledgement is given to the author. All rights reserved.