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Modern football too ‘intense’ for 40-year-old players: Pizarro

Former Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Peru striker Claudio Pizarro says there is “no chance” modern footballers could play into their 40s because of the increased demands of the game. 

Pizarro retired in 2020 at the age of 41 after playing 595 games in the Bundesliga, Premier League and Peruvian Liga 1 along with 86 games in the red and white of Peru. 

“No chance, no chance – I think it is not possible to do that anymore” Pizarro said on Thursday afternoon, referring to his own experience of playing into his 40s.

“Football is about fitness at the moment. The intensity of the games is really high.”

Pizarro said that despite improvements in science, nutrition and training, the game was too intense and that 40-year-old footballers would be even rarer than they are now. 

“If you want to play for these big clubs, in big leagues, where the teams are playing three games a week, it is very, very difficult to continue playing at that level.”

“I think it is not going to be possible to do that anymore. 

“I was one of the last to do that.”

Pizarro retired with six Bundesliga titles, five German Cups and a Champions League medal. He played more Bundesliga games than any other non-German and is the league’s oldest goalscorer (40).  

Pizzaro, a club ambassador with Bayern Munich, spoke to AFP ahead of this weekend’s ‘Der Klassiker’ match between his former side and Borussia Dortmund. 

Borussia Dortmund host Bayern Munich on Saturday afternoon. 

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