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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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."
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