Legendary Bayern Munich ambassador Claudio Pizarro advises young Chinese soccer players to dream big
Published: Mar 29, 2023 10:09 PM
Claudio Pizarro Photo: Du Qiongfang/GT

Claudio Pizarro Photo: Du Qiongfang/GT

A veteran striker who was born in Peru and made a name for himself in the Bundesliga, 44-year-old Claudio Pizarro has some advice for young Chinese soccer players aimed at success: dream big, set your sights high and work really hard. 

The renowned Peruvian soccer athlete recently kicked off his journey to China as Bayern Munich Club Ambassador to help promote the FC's name, traditions, and values across the country. He will be meeting with fans at events in Taicang in East China's Jiangsu Province, Qingdao in East China's Shandong Province and Shanghai, sharing his experience and advice as a long-standing striker who has proved that age is no bar in soccer. 

Bayern Munich finding new roles for former players has become somewhat of a trend. Pizarro reunited with three of his former teammates - Oliver Kahn, Miroslav Klose, and Martin Demichelis - as a club ambassador in 2020. 

"I knew that when I retired from football, I will be always involved in football. That's what I did my whole career and I love to do that," Pizarro said during an interview with the Global Times in Shanghai on Wednesday. 

Bayern Munich has a huge fan base in China. Pizarro said this is the first time that he has visited China as the club's ambassador though he has been here in the past with his family and friends. 

"I really like and enjoy being here and trying to expand the Bayern fan atmosphere," Pizarro said.

During his visit to China, he will visit the Bayern Football School Qingdao on April 1-2 and participate in a series of events and meet with fans from across the country. 

As one of the most successful and likable strikers the Bundesliga has ever seen, Pizarro gave advice to Chinese kids who are committed to this career, telling them to work really hard and have their goals in mind at all times because "it's very important to know where you want to go and what you want to achieve."

Considering that Chinese soccer is currently experiencing a difficult situation, Pizarro said that young Chinese soccer players could also seek opportunities to play somewhere else and gain experience and training.  

"At some point, you have to see new things, new football experiences and other cultures, which are very important in football as well, since it is important to diversify your options to achieve your goals," Pizarro told the Global Times.

Pizarro recalled his experience as a foreign player in Germany when he was 20 years old, which was not easy for him at the beginning due to the language barrier, cultural differences and other challenges. However, everything went well a couple of months later after he concentrated on playing football well to win the trust from his teammates and tried to pick up the language slowly.