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An Ugly Rumor: Claudio Pizarro

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Villarreal have been linked with a number of very good players this spring. Now comes the first link to a player who's form has been dipping over the last couple of years - Peruvian striker Claudio Pizarro. This one does not sit well with me. It is very unlike Villarreal to sign players who are already past their prime. Pizarro has only scored two goals in 27 appearances (7 starts) in all competitions (Premiership, CL, FA Cup) this year for Chelsea. Although he scored 12 goals last year, it was in 45 appearances (31 starts) for Bayern Munich. His recent totals are far from his glory days: 2001/02: 18 goals in 34 appearances; 2003/03: 17 goals in 39 appearances; 2004/05: 15 goals in 31 appearances. Plus, he will be 30 by the time the season starts - not old by any means, but on the downslope.

I am sure he could contribute, and could perhaps be counted on for seven or nine goals. Based on Villarreal's ability to scout true talent, I would expect more from the club.

EDIT: I read somewhere today (can't find it) that his nickname is the "Bomber of the Andes." I have to admit - that is one of the coolest nicknames I have heard, so his stock does rise a bit in my eyes. ;)