Kohfeldt hails retiring Claudio Pizarro after Bremen survive Bundesliga play-off

Florian Kohfeldt lauded Claudio Pizarro after Werder Bremen narrowly managed to retain their Bundesliga status against Heidenheim as the club great retired from football.

Pizarro called time on his career following Monday's 2-2 draw at second-tier Heidenheim – four-time German champions Bremen prevailing in the Bundesliga relegation play-off on the away goals rule.

The 41-year-old Pizarro, who announced his retirement plans in July following 20 seasons in the Bundesliga – was an unused substitute as Bremen survived a dramatic second leg following last week's goalless draw.

It caps Pizarro's fourth stint with Bremen, having won six league titles across two separate spells at Bayern Munich, while he also spent a season playing for Chelsea in the Premier League.

Kohfeldt heaped praise on Bremen's all-time leading goalscorer Pizarro, who netted two goals in 2019-20.

"Awesome," Kohfeldt replied when asked how nice it was for Pizarro to end his career as a first-division player. "I was with him after the game as well and apologised that I couldn't bring him in his last game.

"Unfortunately the situation was just not there. But he said it didn't matter, the main thing was that we were not relegated.

"The other day we watched a video on YouTube in the coaching team. And we saw videos from the 90s, the 2000s and 2010s and I said to the assistant coach: "It's always the same face that laughs.

"That just shows what meaning he has and what joy he has given to the Werder fans. How much importance he has for this club. And it makes me happy for the team.

"I can't pull my hat any lower and bow any lower before Claudio Pizarro and what he has done for Werder Bremen and the Bundesliga. And I am delighted that we were able to close this chapter in the first division. Many thanks Claudio!"

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