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Pizarro enjoys purple patch

Published: Monday 28 November 2005, 23.30CET
Having scored all four of FC Bayern München's goals in their last two Bundesliga outings, Claudio Pizarro is showing stirring form in Germany.
by Mark Bennett
from Cologne features

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Published: Monday 28 November 2005, 23.30CET

Pizarro enjoys purple patch

Having scored all four of FC Bayern München's goals in their last two Bundesliga outings, Claudio Pizarro is showing stirring form in Germany.
With Roy Makaay finding goals hard to come by and Roque Santa Cruz out for the rest of the season, Claudio Pizarro is thriving at FC Bayern München.

New situation
At the start of the campaign, the 27-year-old was sat on the bench with coach Felix Magath preferring Dutch international Makaay and Paraguay's Santa Cruz as his striking lineup. Despite his 52 goals in the previous four seasons, it seemed Pizarro was surplus to requirements.

Important goal
He failed to play a significant part in the first third of the Bundesliga campaign but after cruciate damage cut short Santa Cruz's term, Pizarro got his chance, scoring in the 4-0 win against MSV Duisburg on 22 October. "The goal against Duisburg was extremely important for me and gave me confidence," he said.

Good provider
Pizarro then showed his value in the 3-1 victory against Werder Bremen on 5 November, scoring himself and setting up the goal that ended a long barren spell for the usually reliable Makaay. However, in the last two Bundesliga weeks, Pizarro has been hogging the headlines.

Clean sweep
The German champions have registered consecutive 2-1 triumphs with Pizarro hitting all four goals. First, he struck twice as Bayern came from behind at DSC Arminia Bielefeld on 19 November. Then, at the weekend, another double arrived in the 2-1 win against 1. FSV Mainz 05.

'Having fun'
Unsurprisingly, Pizarro is enjoying his purple patch. "I am really enjoying my football and having fun on the pitch," said the Peruvian international. However, perhaps wary of the striker's tendency towards complacency when on song, Magath has been sparing with his praise.

Faint praise
"He is only doing his job," said the coach. "We play with two forwards so the opposition have to watch two players and not just one." Magath has long known Pizarro's potential but is keen to curb his worst instincts, saying: "Claudio has everything a good striker needs but he must continue to work hard."

Last updated: 29/11/05 9.51CET

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