When Werder Bremen take on Borussia Mönchengladbach on Friday evening, Claudio Pizarro will have an opportunity to make his 400th Bundesliga appearance. He will be the 65th player ever to do so, and the sixth player to reach that milestone while playing with Werder Bremen.
"Of course, this is very special for me. It's not something you experience every day," said Pizarro said on Wednesday. His 400th appearance will tie him with Thomas Hässler and Klaus Zaczyk for the 63rd most Bundesliga appearances, but there is a bigger record he may be chasing.
Currently with 181 career goals, Pizarro is one goal away from tying Ulf Kirsten for fifth place on the all-time goal scoring list in the Bundesliga. He has five Bundesliga goals for the season, and Gladbach has conceded 11 goals in their last five games. Pizarro has also scored in each of his last four matches in all competitions, including a brace that helped Bremen secure a point against Hertha Berlin.
On the verge of a personal milestone, Pizarro revealed the secret to his prolonged success: he has removed pizza and chocolate from his diet. "I miss chocolate so much," said Pizarro, but admitted his new diet has made a difference. "I feel better and have lost two or three kilos."
While out-of-contract in the summer, the Peruvian forward connected with nutritionist Giuliano Poser, who also advises Barcelona's Lionel Messi. Other carbohydrates such as pasta and white bread are also off the menu, as well as potatoes, tomatoes and cow's milk.
His new diet has allowed the 35-year-old Bundesliga veterant to make 18 appearances with Bremen after signing a one-year deal in September. His form has been so impressive, sporting director Thomas Eichin wants to extend his contract for another season.
Pizarro's current focus is keeping 16th placed Bremen in the Bundesliga. He may face competition for his spot as well, with summer signing Aron Johannsson returning to training this week. Therefore his fitness has remained his primary focus. "If I want to still play, that's how it has to be," he said.