Outcast Pizarro still wants to play for Peru

LIMA - Claudio Pizarro said on Monday he still wanted to play for Peru despite falling out with national team coach Jose del Solar and the country's football federation. Pizarro has completed a ban imposed for his alleged involvement at a party at the team hotel following a World Cup qualifier at home to Brazil in November 2007, but has yet to be recalled by his country. The Werder Bremen striker has stated he was not involved in the incident, or even aware of it. "I'm very patriotic and when I play for Peru I go weak at the knees," Pizarro told the daily newspaper El Comercio in an interview. "I still try to watch the games." Pizarro was initially handed an 18-month ban along with fellow strikers Jefferson Farfan and Andres Mendoza and defender Santiago Acasiete. The bans on Pizarro, Farfan and Acasiete were later cut to three months. Peruvian football has been plagued by in-fighting among the directors for years and the country has not qualified for a World Cup since 1982. The players are often accused of indiscipline but in turn complain of harassment by the country's tabloid newspapers and television stations. Peru are bottom of the 10-team South American qualifying group with seven points from 10 games and have only a remote chance of qualifying. "We have young players who are keen... but I see that nobody respects Peru any more, not even when we play at home," said Pizarro. "That didn't happen before."