It seems impossible to imagine that 2019/20 could be Claudio Pizarro's final season. The evergreen 41-year-old looks set to hang up his boots come the end of the current campaign, back where his illustrious career began: at Werder Bremen.
When the Peruvian arrived in the North German city back in 1999 he could never have imagined the career that would follow during his time in the Bundesliga.
Fast forward two decades, six Bundesliga titles and 197 goals, and Pizarro sat down with bundesliga.com to go over his career, his hopes for the future and what it means to be a legend in the Bundesliga...
bundesliga.com: How's the season going for you so far?
Claudio Pizarro: "Unfortunately I've not played as much as I'd have liked. The injuries that I've had haven't allowed me to do as much as I'd hoped. I'm fighting against the situation and luckily I can train again now. I hope I can get back on the pitch soon."
Watch: Pizarro has scored a Bundesliga goal in 21 consecutive calendar years!
bundesliga.com: Despite a lot of draws and a generally modest start to the season, are you still hopeful of having a good campaign with Bremen and qualifying for Europe?
Pizarro: "It's a long season and we've had a lot of draws. You could argue that it's not too bad, but we're not getting the wins and we need the points. We're in mid-table and we need to improve if we want to reach our goals."
bundesliga.com: How much tougher is daily training at the age of 41? Is it harder to get out of bed in the morning?
Pizarro: "It's just the same as always. I've noticed that it takes me slightly longer to recover than before, but the rest is normal. I had a few problems with injuries and the nerves in my back and I had to take a longer break because this takes a bit more time. Otherwise things are fine, but my body doesn't always let me do what I want."
bundesliga.com: You said you would retire in 2020. Will you definitely not be going to China, the USA or anywhere else?
Pizarro: "No, definitely not. I think I've missed my chance to go there! I think I'll call it a day."
bundesliga.com: What do you want to achieve in what could be your final season?
Pizarro: "I need to score a few goals and I hope I can play again soon. I'm working on my match fitness because it's lacking at the moment. The main thing is that I feel good again and I can train with the team. Hopefully we can win a few games because we need points and we want to achieve our goals."
bundesliga.com: You've been playing in the Bundesliga for two decades. What do you like most about this league?
Pizarro: "I feel good here. I started here and want to finish my career here. I feel comfortable in every stadium here and I'm grateful to everyone because I've been made to feel welcome everywhere. I feel most at home in the stadiums where I've played for a longer time, such as the Weserstadion and the Allianz Arena. I feel good and hope that it stays that way."
bundesliga.com: It could be that every stadium you visit now is your final one as a player. Does that make you sad?
Pizarro: "Not at all. I try to win the game wherever I'm playing and to make it enjoyable for the fans in the stadium. I want them to enjoy the football that we're playing."
bundesliga.com: You're already a living legend. How proud does that make you?
Pizarro: "It's nice and it makes me feel proud of what I've achieved in the league. It's special for me and my family, and something that I'll tell my grandchildren about."
bundesliga.com: You've been Bremen's record goalscorer since the 3-2 against Wolfsburg on 16 April 2016. What do you remember about this and how special is this goal for you?
Pizarro: "A record is always important and it's something special for me to have. There is always something new, so I'll constantly try to break new records."
bundesliga.com: Your equaliser in Berlin in February 2019 also made you the oldest goalscorer in the Bundesliga. How special was that?
Pizarro: "I think this record will be difficult to beat. I hope it's a record that'll stand for a long time. These are all special records for me."
Watch: Pizarro's incredible Bundesliga mixtape!
bundesliga.com: In April 2016, against Bayer Leverkusen, you became the oldest player to score a hat-trick, aged 37. What do you remember about the game?
Pizarro: "I remember the game. For one of the goals I stole the ball off the defender and ran towards goal. The goalkeeper came out and I chipped him with my left foot. It was a nice goal."
bundesliga.com: You're also the oldest player to score four goals after you did so with Bayern against Hamburg at the age of 34. How special was that game for you?
Pizarro: "It was against Hamburg and we won 9-2. That isn't something you forget so easily! I must admit that I always enjoy scoring against HSV. It's a derby for us and every game against HSV was important for me."
bundesliga.com: The Bundesliga will soon be producing a special about the years 2010 to 2020. What were your favourite moments in the Bundesliga over the last ten years?
Pizarro: "Winning the Bundesliga or the DFB Cup is always very special. I won the league with Bayern and I'm very proud of this. These are moments that I'll never forget."
bundesliga.com: Bayern could win their eight consecutive title of the last 10 years next summer. Have they been untouchable over the past decade?
Pizarro: "They're a club who always try to win something and it's very important for them. They have the squad and the players to compete every year in the Bundesliga and they're used to winning the title. They're the best team in the Bundesliga."
bundesliga.com: What are you planning to do next after the end of your career? Just play golf?
Pizarro: "Definitely some golf. Firstly, I want to finish this season well and then I'll look at what options I have and I'll make a decision. I'll definitely do something in football, but I'm not sure yet exactly what that'll be."