Munich - He may turn 35 in a matter of months, but FC Bayern Munich’s isn’t planning on hanging up his boots any time soon.
Best place to be
The Peruvian striker recently signed a new one-year contract extension to remain with the treble-winners until the summer of 2014, a decision that couldn’t have made him happier: “At my age it doesn’t get much better than staying another season at FC Bayern.”
It's easy to understand why he would be so pleased with his choice, since a player of his quality will certainly have a part to play in Bayern’s attempt to defend their trophy haul. Last season he was in competition with Mario Mandzukic and Mario Gomez for a starting berth, but still managed 20 league appearances, scoring six goals and assisting just as many.
He also notched a hat-trick against LOSC Lille in the UEFA Champions League and was involved in five of the nine goals that the Reds hit past Hamburger SV in the 9-2 demolition in March. With Gomez having departed for Fiorentina, he may even enjoy more on-field action, especially considering his ability to play in a number of attacking roles.
Pep Guardiola's arrival as coach has also been an added incentive for him, and the two of them have struck up an immediate understanding on account of their common native language. "He was pleased that he could speak in Spanish to me,” said the former Werder Bremen man.
With his experience, extraordinary football brain and natural inclination to partake in the quick, fluid passing game for which Guardiola is renowned, Pizarro can certainly bank on a healthy amount of playing time.
Things look rosy off the pitch as well. The veteran can look forward to another year living in the beautiful city of Munich, earning his keep at a club that recently established itself as the continent's best. There is little doubt that ‘Pizza’, as he is affectionately known by supporters, will add to his tally as the Bundesliga’s record foreign goalscorer with 166 goals in 353 appearances for Bayern and Bremen.
Pizarro admits his future is uncertain beyond his latest contract, but for now, in the twilight of his career, the ever-smiling striker is keen to enjoy himself: “I feel great and I just want to keep playing for as long as possible.” Bayern, it seems, would like him to do so too.