GGFN Advent Calendar | Day 3

Welcome back to the Get German Football News advent calendar. As the countdown to Christmas continues, so does our festive fun on day three, as we look at the three Bundesliga clubs Claudio Pizarro has played for to establish himself as an icon within the German game.

Born just outside of the Peruvian capital Lima, it would be with Alianza Lima when Werder Bremen CEO Jürgen Born noticed Pizarro playing on TV. After travelling to Peru, Born would ultimately scout Pizzaro by climbing under a hole in the fence at Alianza Lima’s training ground.

However, it would all be worth it, as Just three games into his first tenure at Bremen, Pizzaro scored his maiden Bundesliga hat-trick against Wolfsburg. Two seasons and 38 goals later, the Peruvian would earn a move to Bayern Munich, scoring his first goal for the Bavarians just four minutes into his debut. During his time in Munich, Pizarro scored 71 goals, winning three Bundesliga titles and three DFB-Pokals.

His brief stint at Chelsea would prove disappointing, prompting a return not just to the Bundesliga but to Bremen. His homecoming saw fans flock to the club shop to buy a shirt with Pizarro on the back, showing how fond of him they still were – despite originally leaving for Der Rekordmeister. They would soon fall in love all over again as his goals saw the side reach the 2009 Europa League final, where they would lose to Shakhtar Donetsk 2-1 in heartbreaking fashion.

Nevertheless, he would help the side lift the DFB Pokal that same season with a 1-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen. Pizarro would remain at Bremen for three more years, scoring 60 goals and earning himself, funnily enough, another move to Bayern Munich. Surprisingly, the Bremen fans did not hold grudges, instead considering it another chance for him to succeed.

Succeed; he did, winning three consecutive Bundesliga titles as well as the Champions League during his second stint in Bavaria. Proving to be a reliable striker when the record champions needed him most, Pizarro once again allowed the Bayern faithful to fall in love. A move to his third Bundesliga club in Köln would be sandwiched between two more spells in Bremen, where he would retire as the club’s all-time Bundesliga top scorer as well as the most adored player in the league, with even the fans of sides he has never played for finding his cheeky smile too infectious.

GGFN | Will Shopland

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