Goalscoring 101 with Claudio Pizarro: love the ball, and it'll love you right back. - © © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA
Goalscoring 101 with Claudio Pizarro: love the ball, and it'll love you right back. - © © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA

Claudio Pizarro, the Bundesliga's Back to the Future icon


Four US presidents, three Matrix films and nearly 400 seasons of Big Brother around the world, and scoring through all of them, one Claudio Pizarro.

The Bundesliga's all-time leading foreign-born scorer is back for one final season, having put pen to paper on a one-year deal with Werder Bremen. He's had the happy knack of finding the net ever since he struck on his first start in Germany in Bremen's 5-0 win over Kaiserslautern on 12 September, 1999.

The Peruvian legend has banged in the goals for Werder Bremen, Bayern Munich and Cologne with a record 192 in 444 top-flight appearances following his strike against Stuttgart on Matchday 25 of the 2017/18 campaign.

Watch: Pizarro's top 20 goals of the last 20 years!

'He's just so adorable, Mrs. Pulisic'

bundesliga.com pops on its pastel-shaded shell suit, hops into its DeLorean, turns the clock back to the dawn of the millennium, and visits the very different world in which the name 'Claudio Pizarro' appeared first on a Bundesliga scoresheet.

The German top flight is in its 37th season. Bayern are the defending champions, and — guess what? — they will win it once more, pipping Leverkusen on goal difference. Just seven goals in it too — surely Leverkusen will never be so unlucky again…

SSV Ulm 1846 are enjoying — or maybe that should be enduring — their one and only Bundesliga season to date, while Martin Max of 1860 Munich is en route to finishing the league's top scorer with 19 goals. His son, 2018 Augsburg's Philipp, will celebrate his sixth birthday in late September, a couple of weeks after a fresh-faced Pizarro finds the net for the first time in Bremen colours.

Christian Pulisic was only dreaming about scoring Bundesliga goals when Claudio Pizarro began his legendary career. - © imago

ZZ top

Hoffenheim boss Julian Nagelsmann is 12 and still studying hard at school, RB Leipzig speed-merchant Timo Werner is just three, but probably giving his parents the sort of runaround modern-day Bundesliga defenders can now sympathise with. In Pennsylvania, Mr. and Mrs. Pulisic are wondering what to buy Christian for his first birthday.

In the Löw household, the mood is, well, low as Joachim is unemployed after leaving Fenerbahce. "I think the Karlsruhe job is a good one," says Jogi. Wrong! One win and 10 defeats from 18 Bundesliga 2 games later, the sack arrives, Jogi departs, relegation follows, and the Löw garden gets some badly needed TLC again. Bet the tulips won't be quite so good in 2014

Zinedine Zidane is the reigning Ballon d'Or after nodding in twice (not the first time he'll use his head in a World Cup final) to take France to the top of the world a year ago. Real Madrid and Croatia striker Davor Suker and Inter Milan's Brazilian genius Ronaldo complete the Ballon d'Or podium.

- © gettyimages / Stuart Franklin

Serena who?

US sprinter Michael Johnson, aged nearly 32, sets a 400m world record, while Mika Hakkinen is far more sensible and even faster in getting round the track: he jumps into a McLaren Formula One car and is crowned world champion while he's at it.

Andre Agassi has already lost his hair, but not his touch with a tennis racket as he wins the French and US Opens, beating Todd Martin in five sets on the very day Pizarro scores his first to triumph in New York.

It's an eventful 24 hours as Serena Williams announces herself as a name to look out for in the future by picking up her first Slam at Flushing Meadows while Mrs. Agassi, still known as Steffi Graf at the time, is about to retire after winning the last of her 22 Grand Slams in Paris earlier in the year.

Going mobile

Everyone is getting excited about the impending arrival of the PlayStation 2. Take that, Nintendo 64!

The must-have mobile phone is the Nokia 8210. It's so sophisticated you can choose from six different coloured covers and — listen to this! — phone from anywhere you like. Imagine that? Apple? Oh yeah…erm, what? What's an eye phone? Never heard of it.

'Day 1 in the Big Brother house'

George Orwell would be proud. It didn't happen in 1984, but 15 years later, we have Big Brother (though with the first-ever season happening in the Netherlands, you'd better brush up on your Dutch).

- © gettyimages / Paul J. Richards