Claudio Pizarro has a new home! Well, returning to a former home.
The 36-year-old striker has signed a contract with Werder Bremen until the end of the season, starting his third stint with the Grünweißer. He teams up with manager Viktor Skripnik, who was his teammate with Werder Bremen between 1999 and 2001.
"There is no doubting his ability, and he will also bring a lot to the team on a personal level," said Skripnik to the club website. "It is now important that we give him every opportunity to get to know the team on the pitch."
Bayern Munich elected not to extend Pizarro's contract after the 2014/15 season despite doing so the previous two seasons. Reports in previous weeks suggested Bremen may not be able to afford Pizarro. Sporting director Thomas Erchin found a way, and convinced the Peruvian to return to Bremen.
"After his contract expired at FC Bayern, we played around with the idea of getting Claudio back on board. We've intensified talks in recent days to have an honest exchange of ideas and expectations," said Thomas Eichin. "We're delighted that Claudio is prepared to join our new path and play his part. He knows our philosophy with our many young players and wants to help develop the team in whatever way he can."
Pizarro joins a team who parted ways with two strikers last season, Franco di Santo and David Selke. The club acquired Köln striker Anthony Ujah and AZ Alkmaar striker Aron Johannson to replace them, and while both have scored this season, Bremen still only has two goals in open play through three matches. As the Bundesliga most prolific foreign goal scorer, Pizarro adds a level of know-how Bremen does not currently have.
"I am happy to be back. The prospect of striving for success at this club is very exciting. I hope that my being here will help the team a lot," said Pizarro. "As a young player, I benefited myself from a similar situation where we signed Julio Cesar. Now I am looking forward to this transitional period and playing with a new team."