Fourth time’s a charm?
Full Name: Claudio Miguel Pizarro Bossio
Birthdate: October 3, 1978
Place of Birth: Peru
Playing years: 1991 to Present
Position(s): Striker, Centre-Forward, Attacking Midfielder
Football Club (Current): Werder Bremen
DFB-Pokal (Top scorer, 2004-2005)
UEFA Europa League (Top scorer, 2009-2010)
Claudio Pizarro was born in the Peruvian town of Callao and is of Italian descent. After four seasons in Academia Deportiva Cantolao’s youth system, he made his pro debut in Deportivo Pesquero in 1996. He hit two goals against Atletico Torino weeks after his first game against Alianza Lima. Consequently, he made the move to Los aliancistas after 16 appearances in Pesquero. The club then struck a deal with Bundesliga team Werder Bremen for Pizarro’s transfer. He was able to net 38 goals in a short span of time (two seasons) over at Bremen. Top European clubs made the scramble to sign Pizzaro but the Peruvian star settled with German giant Bayern Munich. He had a stellar career at Die Bayern having played in the German Cup, the Bundesliga, the Intercontinental Cup, the UEFA Super Cup and the UEFA Champions League. Fondly called the Anden-Bomber for his goalscoring feats, he finished term with Bayern Munich with 12 goals. He later signed a contract at Stamford Bridge on a Bosman transfer but found himself sidelined after Avram Grant replaced manager Jose Mourinho.
On August 2008, he was loaned to former club Werder Bremen and again officially became part of the team. He played a pivotal role in their qualification to the UEFA Cup Final in 2009. On October 2010, Pizarro found the net for the 134th time in Bundesliga, making him the top scoring international in the league’s history. He again returned to Bayern Munich and made the record of scoring against every Bundesliga club in match against Eintracht Braunschweig. In 2013-2014, he made six Champions League appearances, 17 Bundesliga outings, and a FIFA World Cup participation for the Peru national team. For his third spell at Werder Bremen, he set another record as the oldest player to score a hat-trick in the German top flight in the Die Werderaner’s 4-1 triumph against Bayer 04 Leverkusen. He made a short detour to FC Koln in 2015 before returning yet again to Werder Bremen on July 2018.
League – Bundesliga
Yellow Cards: 44
Red Cards: 1
Minutes per goal: 155’
League – Champions League
Yellow Cards: 4
Red Cards: 0
Minutes per goal: 207’
Notable Skills/Style of Play
– Strong defensive contribution
– Clinical finishing
– Inclined to long balls
– Plays the ball off the ground
– Set-piece threat
Werder Bremen surprise
Striker Pizarro makes a return to SV Werder Bremen not as a coach or a manager but as a player once more through a “performance-related” contract. In a press release, Pizarro stated that he’s delighted to join the team again where he plans to see his career out. He also stated that he’s eager to share his knowledge and experience in the dressing room but he will still aim to score goals even as a backup striker. Bremen fans have always had a place in their hearts for this legend. Pizarro remains as the top-scoring Werder Bremen player with 144 goals and as Bundesliga’s top-scoring foreigner with 192 goals. Pizarro has been in Mallorca, Spain training and could get back in action in upcoming friendly against Dutch outfit VVV-Venlo.
Watch out for Pizarro’s fourth stint with Werder Bremen in Bundesliga. First competitive match is scheduled this August: Werder Bremen v Hannover 96. Asian Handicap odds already tip it as a tightly-contested battle.