Claudio Pizarro: "I'm back at last"
Claudio Pizarro is back with FC Bayern. After scoring goal after goal for the German record champions over nine seasons as a player, the Peruvian has swapped his red jersey for a red jacket and will now be an ambassador for the club. fcbayern.com spoke to the 41-year-old about his new role, his extremely successful career and the treble-winning season just gone.
Interview with Claudio Pizarro
Claudio, welcome back to FC Bayern. After 2001 and 2009, this is the third time you've moved from Bremen to Munich. How do you feel upon your return to Säbener Straße?
"I feel very good. I'd already spoken to the people in charge of FC Bayern a few times. They wanted me to become active as an ambassador for the club, but I always said that I still wanted to play a bit of football and that it would take a while before that happened (laughs). But now I'm back at last. It is something special for me to be back amongst the FC Bayern family and I'm very happy."
In contrast to the previous two occasions, you're not moving to Munich to become one of the playing staff. What is your new role at FC Bayern?
"The idea is to further broaden and strengthen the FC Bayern brand both nationally and internationally, in cooperation too with sponsors and partners. We're still exchanging thoughts on exactly how these measures should be implemented."
You ended your playing career at the end of last season after a total of 24 years as a professional. When you came to Germany in 1999, would you have thought that you'd play in the Bundesliga for 20 years?
"I really never expected it. But I'm very pleased with what I've achieved during this time. I'm also very happy to be in Germany. This is now my second home and I'll stay here with my family. We feel very comfortable here and we will see what the future holds for us."
With a little hindsight: What do you like to reminisce about - and what do you prefer not to dwell on too much?
"Of course, I think about the many titles I've won. When I was a little boy, I always dreamed of joining a big club and playing in a tough league like the Bundesliga. That I have achieved all this is something special for me. I can tell my grandchildren about it in years to come. Certainly, there have also been difficult moments in my career, for example the fact that I was never able to play for my country in a World Cup. But these are situations and experiences that nevertheless help you move forward. That's football."
How have you followed FC Bayern over the last few weeks and months?
"I've watched all the games, of course. What the team has achieved this year is really something special. At the beginning of the season, two important players, Arjen [Robben] and Franck [Ribéry], left and new, young players joined in their place. Then there was a change of coach - altogether, a lot of changes. But the team showed that it wanted to achieve something big this year. I think Hansi Flick did a great job, everyone worked together, the way they performed as a team was impressive. To win the treble was outstanding!"
You were here yourself in 2013 when FCB won the treble for the first time. After the triumph in Lisbon, do you have any memories of 2013? What do you remember when you think back to the first treble?
"Sure, you don't forget that kind of thing. And, of course, before a final like that, you know what the feeling is like, what is going on in a player's mind. Everyone wants to show they have the quality to win the trophy against a team that also wants to win the final. In the end, the Bayern players have shown that they know how to win that type of game. They put pressure on their opponents right from the off and deserved to win."
Will we see you in an FC Bayern Legends kit sometime in the future?
"Of course!" (laughs loudly)