On August 28th 1999 Claudio Pizarro made his debut in the Bundesliga for Werder Bremen. Two days after being signed from Alianza Lima, Pizarro was given 42 minutes in Werder’s 1-1 draw against Hertha Berlin on match day 3 of the 1999/00 season.
The Peruvian didn’t score on his league debut, but was on the pitch when Werder equalized Hertha’s 1-0 lead through Rade Bogdanovic. Pizarro’s first goal for the Grün-Weißen came on the next match day against Kaiserslautern, and was followed by a hattrick on match day 5 in Werder’s 7-2 thumping of VfL Wolfsburg.
Both Werder and Pizarro had an uneven season. The Green and Whites finished in 9th place, whilst Pizarro ended his season with a total of 10 goals and 5 assists.
Ever since his first season however, Pizarro has provided some of the most stunning goals in Bundesliga history. The striker might not have changed, but the league has changed a lot since 1999.
During Pizarro’s debut season TSV 1860 Munich finished in 4th and Kaiserslautern ended in 5th. Clubs like SpVgg Unterhaching, Hansa Rostock, SSV Ulm, Arminia Bielefeld and MSV Duisburg were also playing in the Bundesliga back then. Furthermore, the contract he signed was in Deutsche Marks and not Euros.
A lot could be written about Pizarro’s accomplishments in the league. The striker has after all, won the Bundesliga six times, and the DFB Pokal six times during his various stints at both Werder Bremen and Bayern München. Add in a Champions League medal and you have quite the trophy haul. The Peruvian is also the top foreign scorer in Bundesliga history as well as being the sixth in the all-time scorers list.
However, the best way to celebrate Claudio Pizarro is simple! Watch his goals stemming from 20 years of Bundesliga football.
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