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Veteran footballer Pizarro fired up for Bayern return

BeSoccer by BeSoccer @besoccer_com - 0 188

Pin Claudio Pizarro (C) and his Bremen teammates celebrate scoring the 3-3 during the German first division Bundesliga football match in Bremen, northern Germany, on January 30, 2016
Claudio Pizarro (C) and his Bremen teammates celebrate scoring the 3-3 during the German first division Bundesliga football match in Bremen, northern Germany, on January 30, 2016

Veteran footballer Pizarro fired up for Bayern return

BeSoccer by BeSoccer @besoccer_com - 0 188

Evergreen Claudio Pizarro is relishing his return to Bayern Munich on Saturday as the 37-year-old can not stop scoring in Germany's top flight.

The Peru striker is out of contract at Werder Bremen in June, but is enjoying the Indian summer of his career and is Werder's top scorer this season.

He has netted 11 league goals this season, scoring five times in his last three games, including a hat-trick in Werder's shock 4-1 thrashing of Bayer Leverkusen last week.

Pizarro had two separate stints at Bayern from 2001-2007 and then 2012-2015.

He left at the end of last term, returning to Bremen for the fourth time, after Bayern boss Pep Guardiola deemed him surplus to requirements.

"Of course it will be a special game for me against former colleagues at the Allianz Arena," he said.

"I hope we can beat Bayern and, best of all, with a goal from me."

With his 38th birthday approaching in October, Pizarro is to Germany's top flight what Ryan Giggs was to England's Premier League.

The Welshman retired in 2014, aged 40, having played nearly 700 games for Manchester United, scoring over 100 goals.

Pizarro holds the German league records for the most goals (187) and games (405) and has no thoughts of retiring.

He even wants to play at the 2018 World Cup in Russia with Peru.

While Bayern want to become the first club to win four straight Bundesliga titles, Bremen are just focusing on staying up, as they remain only three points from the relegation play-off place.

"It is important that we look positively ahead, rather than downwards," he added.

"It's crucial that we pick up points from game-to-game.

"We're on a good run now and if we keep it up, I am confident we won't slide back towards the bottom."

Bremen have shot up to 13th in the table with back-to-back wins, while Bayern's lead is now five points after defeat to Mainz was followed by a crucial draw with Dortmund.

Pizarro's nine goals in the second half of the season means he has scored more times than even Bayern's star striker Robert Lewandowski.

"We're slowly getting used to Claudio scoring in every game, without wanting to, of course, put him under too much pressure," said Bremen captain Clemens Fritz.

If he needed any extra incentive, his 100 goals for Werder leaves him just one short of the club's record of 101, held by current board member Marco Bode.

"We have nine games left, he'll do it," said Bode.

"Perhaps he'll even manage it in Munich."

Bayern's stars certainly know what to expect from the goal-scoring Peruvian when Saturday comes.

"I'm not surprised by him, he's always had these qualities," said Bayern winger Arjen Robben on the subject of Pizarro.

"He is a very, very good player and it's a shame that he is playing against us."

And Bayern wing-back Rafinha knows he has his work cut out to contain Pizarro.

"We played together, trained together and virtually lived together, he is experienced and he is still a nuisance on the pitch," said the Brazilian.

"It's good and I hope he plays on for a few more years."

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