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Ari Hjelm

Published: Thursday 1 September 2011, 13.40CET
Ari Hjelm
Ari Hjelm had success as a coach as well as a player ©AFP
Published: Thursday 1 September 2011, 13.40CET

Ari Hjelm


Clubs: Tampereen Ilves, Stuttgarter Kickers, FC St Pauli, HJK Helsinki, Tampere United

• Born in 1962 in Tampere, striker Hjelm made his first-class football debut shortly after his 19th birthday in 1981 and went on to score 12 times in his first season with home-town club Ilves.

• Hjelm struck a total of 152 top-flight goals in his native country and remains sixth in the list of all-time leading scorers in Finland's elite division. He won the domestic championship with Ilves in 1983 and the Finnish Cup with both Ilves (1990) and HJK (1996).

• His nation's player of the year for 1987, the forward was the first Finn to win 100 caps and also the first player to register 20 goals for Finland. Those achievements earned him the distinction of being an honorary captain of the national side.

• As well as representing Ilves and then, for two seasons at the end of his playing days, HJK, Hjelm also played for German clubs Stuttgarter Kickers, in both the Bundesliga and the 2. Bundesliga, and St Pauli in the second category.

• With the exception of that HJK interlude, he has always worked in his home town and between 2001 and 2010 he coached Tampere, guiding his team to three domestic titles and one cup.

• His son, Jonne Hjelm, has followed in his footsteps as an attacker with Tampere and an international at Under-21 level.

• On 14 November 2011 at the Football Association of Finland's (SPL-FBF) annual gala, Hjelm received a commemorative cap and medal from UEFA to mark his century of international appearances.

• "To win 100 caps requires you to have been fit and in good shape all of the time," he said. "I spent several years in the national team, 13 altogether. Few of the squad nowadays enjoy as many."

Last updated: 16/11/11 16.52CET

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