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Aapo Virtanen: Don’t Look Back In Anger

Started on 6 November 2018 by Jack
Latest Reply on 5 September 2019 by Justice
More big money spent, but he looks to be the ultimate midfielder! His goal scoring record for a midfielder is phenomenal and I can only imagine that he will become a legend of the game for Manchester City.
Damn, talk about money spent in a transfer window :O
But for real, Schipper seems like an incredible signing. He is only 22 and look at those stats. You Jack, have gotten yourself a soon to be legend. Let's hope he'll win you lots of trophies!
Only 22 and with those kind of stats, I don't feel like City will need to worry about their midfield for a while
Manchester City buying their way to the title. Some things never change. ;) All jokes aside, Schipper has obvious quality given he was part of a side who came second in a World Cup and has impressed back in Germany; which in itself is a difficult, physical league. Hopefully he can make a swift transition like many others have before, such as KDB and Leroy Sane.
What an incredible player. Someone Aapo will be able to rely on for many years to come, very excited about seeing how he performs!

In an exclusive interview with the Finnish press, Manchester City manager has stated that a return to Finnish football ‘would not be unthinkable’

The 39-year-old World Cup winner spoke in a one-to-one interview with the Helsinki Times and raised considerable eyebrows with some of his comments regarding his future in football.

When asked about a potential return to Finland in any capacity, Virtanen answered:
It certainly isn’t out of the picture for me. Many would say that I have done everything in the game with winning multiple titles with Oulu, winning the Serie A, the Premier League, the Champions League and even the World Cup.
For me, it’s way too early on in my career to be saying that sort of stuff that I have done everything. I have detailed it before to The Guardian over in England about the manner of how my departure with AC Oulu went. I didn’t want to leave there at all - for me it was a lifetime project. However, with anything like that you can’t do everything on your own.

Yes, I turned Oulu into the most dominant force in Finnish club football but the structure of the club was not determined by me. The board gave me nice budgets for good players and nice facilities to work with, but ultimately I left because we were having to play football miles away in the Champions League because our stadium was not big enough and Ihalainen refused outright an expansion to Raatti Stadion or even a new stadium.

During that time, I knew the finances of the club - they were doing tremendously on the balance sheets thanks to our European cup runs in the Champions League and I know I wasn’t there to manage during the Europa League campaign but that as well. There was no valid reason as to why the stadium shouldn’t expand other than that Ihalainen wanted to regain some power from what I achieved at Oulu.

Knowing the kind of managerial ability that I possess now following my recent successes at both of my clubs previous and with the national team, I can now picture taking Oulu to the next level even though the time has passed. Oulu were my club, my project and nothing would ever mean more to my career than taking the club that I love all the way to the top of the game and dragging the rest of Finnish football up alongside me.

It’s been a long time since I was at Oulu and a lot has changed there under Simo Valakari and the current man in charge Jarmo Korhonen so it wouldn’t be the same club that I left in December 2023. They are performing well under Korhonen but that success wouldn’t exist without me installing the infrastructure at the club at the time.

If one day, Oulu turned round to me and offered me my old job back then there would be negotiations about how I want the club to be structurally and as long as they agreed to my demands then I absolutely would not say no to taking control of the club again, because I love them.

Virtanen is correct in saying that a lot has changed since his 2023 departure to Fiorentina, with a fire sale of the youth products that Virtanen brought through over the years, better training and youth facilities and two changes in management since. Virtanen’s arch-enemy Risto Ihalainen - the club chairman throughout his reign - has been deposed and replaced by current chairman Ville Johansson, but the changes regarding the stadium have not been resolved which could prevent a dream return to the club for Aapo Virtanen who has started the Premier League season well with Manchester City, winning three out of three.

The comments made by Virtanen have created excitement across the town of Oulu as he remains a club legend over at Raatti Stadion, with some fans even telling the board to sack their current title-winning manager Jarmo Korhonen to replace him with Virtanen and to give him what he wants.

The comments have angered some parts of the Manchester City fanbase, though, who feel that their manager has disrespected the club that pays his sky-high wages. Some City fans have accepted the comments, acknowledging that Virtanen has a particular loyalty to the club that he started his career out at.
Justice: As soon as I knew he was available I had to go in for him. Great stats.

Jim: It’s money I believe to be well spent! Only time will tell but I really believe in Schipper to become a legend.

Syb: Absolutely not! He’s one for the next ten years is Schipper!

Scott: If there’s money there to be spent, I’ll spend it! ;) Schipper is an expensive but good asset to have though, impressed me in the World Cup Final too :P

TheLFCFan: He’s got it all, technically, mentally, physically - everything you could want out of your central midfielder!
A very interesting comment for Aapo to make in just his second season at City. However, it would be great to see him take Oulu to the very top!
A bold statement for Virtanen to make so early on in his City career. Perhaps this is his attempt at a power play by saying that he's bigger than the opportunity that City presents? Interesting to see that he has angered Man City fans though, all ten of them must be as fuming as they would be if they had a stoppage time winner chalked off by VAR.
Hmm, Virtanen delivered a lot of success to Oulu but if I was in charge of the club, I would be a little wary of him. It would require catering to his every demand, whether it is feasible or not, I fear.
A massive statement from Virtanen. Would be fantastic to see him return and achieve big things there as well

”The news has stunned Oulu and City fans alike as the World Cup-winning manager Aapo Virtanen declares that he ‘wouldn’t turn dow-”

Leena sat up suddenly at the sound of hearing her estranged partner’s name used in the same sentence as Oulu. She was half-asleep in her flat in London with her television volume fairly high.

Leena had been living apart from Aapo for months since he left their Manchester home to go and manage the Finnish national team so close to the tragic events surrounding the couple’s baby boy. They had had a huge argument before Aapo Virtanen got into his car to join his team in America for the tournament that he had ended up winning.

There was no denying that Leena missed Aapo. They had not been separated for this long since Aapo first moved to Italy to take his job in Florence with Fiorentina. She flew over on the day of the team’s open-top bus celebrations to see him because she had missed him that much.

However, she was drawn back into Aapo’s life that time out of love. She still felt sickened that Aapo could leave for work so soon after the most tragic events in either person’s life and the argument that the pair had, the rage that Leena felt at the time and still did to an extent. There were days where she wanted to go and visit him upon his return to Manchester from the World Cup, but she quickly discarded the idea after reminding herself of the ignorance that he had shown towards her that day when he left for America.

He was always on the news during the World Cup, it was wall-to-wall of how the underdogs of Finland - led by Champions League winner Aapo Virtanen - progressed in the tournament. He was constantly on the television, constantly doing interviews with the British press due to his involvement with Manchester City. Aapo was completely unavoidable for Leena, especially since everybody knew that she was his partner and had just lost their child.

Even if Leena decided to officially cut things off with Aapo and move on with her own life, she would always be the ex-girlfriend of the world-famous Aapo Virtanen. The life with Aapo, that started in the locality of a small Finnish town when Aapo was only known as the local football manager had evolved into being the media’s sweethearts worldwide. The life that she had now was not only inescapable, but irreversible no matter how much she could try.

Though here he was again on the news, not even talking to the British media but to the Finnish media, declaring that he would ‘love’ to return to Finland, to Oulu. For Leena it would be like going back in time, except she would be universally known as Aapo’s girlfriend, not as the AC Oulu receptionist which was a much more underwhelming title to have.

Though the argument that the pair had seemed like the end of an era at the time, Leena was still drawn to Aapo. She had returned to work eventually, like Aapo did so soon after the loss of their baby and there she began to understand that Aapo had a point in that he used work to distract him from the events that occurred shortly after the Champions League Final. Though she reminded herself time to time of that night in Frankfurt, working proved to be a good remedy for such a terrible internal bruise.

Regarding what he said in the interview with the Helsinki Times, Leena felt relieved. It was though as soon as they both left their home in Oulu, everything in their relationship never felt the same. It would take a lot of healing due to the amount of time that they had spent apart, but Leena would once again be drawn into Aapo’s life once again.
TheLFCFan: He was asked a question and he answered it! There is certainly love lost between Aapo and Oulu so he wasn't going to roll over for City.

Justice: With a World Cup now under his belt as well as his City achievements it may be too much of an ego boost, that's for sure.

Scott: Arguably Virtanen earned the new stadium, which is essentially his only demand. It would make sense logically to build or expand the current stadium, it would just be a matter of assurances.

Syb: I'd love to go back there, it's just a matter of when the board decide to open up a vacancy!
Oh interesting. Looking forward to seeing how this progresses.
Leena is a key part in Aapo's life as we have seen before. It was always going to be a devastating time in both of their lives and the fact that Leena is starting to see why Aapo went to America for the World Cup is a positive. I hope they can both reconnect and find themselves loving each other once again.
She moans too much.
Leena is the true hero of this story. <3

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