Bayern & Werder in my heart– Interview with Claudio Pizarro
FC Bayern vs. Werder Bremen: The most-played fixture in Bundesliga history will be contested for the 109th time this weekend, and nobody knows it better than Claudio Pizarro. The current FC Bayern ambassador made 13 appearances for Bremen and 15 for the record champions in the North-South classic in the German top flight, more than any other player. Ahead of the latest encounter, fcbayern.com spoke with the man from Peru.
Claudio Pizarro - the interview
Claudio, in your career you can look back on a total of 28 Bundesliga clashes between the two clubs you carry in your heart - which one in particular has remained in your memory?
"I remember one particular game, but unfortunately Bayern lost it (laughs). The game was here with Werder in the Allianz Arena and we won that 5-2. It was very extraordinary, a historic game for Werder. Bremen didn't win that often against Bayern and certainly not that high - it was a very special game."
That clash was in September 2008 - and at the same time the last Bremen win in this fixture. Bayern have actually won the last 19 in a row in the Bundesliga. Does that mean that the role of favourites for Saturday is already taken?
"Bayern are very strong at the moment, have terrific confidence and the players always want to win. They show their quality in every game right from the word go. It will be very difficult for Werder. Bayern are the favourites."
How was it with you in the old days? Did you prefer your team going into the game as favourites or did you say to yourself as underdogs: 'We'll really show them today'?
"I always preferred to play as a favourite. It's better. Then you have more confidence and, of course, the higher level of quality in the team."
You spent 10 years at Werder, nine years at Bayern. How different is it wearing one jersey or the other?
"For me there's no difference. I'm under contract with a club and give everything for that club. I felt very much at home in both teams and my heart is with the club I play for. I've always said that I identify very much with the club I play for. In every jersey I ever wore, I gave my all."
Just a few months ago you were still playing for Werder. You escaped relegation by a hair's breadth. Now Bremen have got off to a good start and are undefeated in six games. How do you rate their development?
"Many important players have left Werder, now they're building a new team up there with young players. It won't be very easy for Werder this year. The good thing is that they haven't lost in the last six games, but on the other hand they haven't won their last four games either [four consecutive 1-1 draws]."
After just avoiding the drop you announced you would name your next racehorse 'Relegation'. Has that already happened or how is it going?
"Yes, it's already happened. But unfortunately it's been injured and can't run right now. That's why it's in the stable. But it's doing fine."
Who are you rooting for on Saturday?
"Both of them a bit. Another 1-1 for Bremen would certainly be nice, but it will be very difficult for Werder."
Here are the facts and stats on the Bundesliga clash between Bayern and Bremen on Saturday: