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Season 2011/12

Why we love Zaba

  • 21 August 2011 09:30
  • Posted by David Clayton

Rather than regurgitate the same old stories that have been knocking around for what seems like forever, today’s media round focuses on the club legend that is Pablo Zabaleta.

It’s been a long while since a so-called lower profile signing has steadily worked his way into the hearts and minds of the City fans and today he is one of the most popular players at the Club.

The reason? A work ethic that is second-to-none and the knowledge that he will put every part of his body on the line for the sake of that sky blue shirt.

But that’s not all. Zaba has never moaned, embraced the city of Manchester and is also one of the nicest guys you could meet off the pitch.

So it’s fitting that the Blues’ capture of Sergio Aguero is partly down to Zaba’s glowing reference of the Club, the fans and, more importantly, Manchester.

In The People today, Steve Bates writes a nice piece on the part Zaba played in convincing one of the most exciting forwards in world football.

Carlos Tevez, Pablo Zabaleta and City new boy Sergio Aguero come from Argentina, all play for their country and are fiercely proud of it,” writes Bates.

“But 26-year-old Zabaleta, the captain of Argentina, is wasting no time in convincing Aguero that Manchester is nothing like the hellhole painted by Tevez.

“Zabaleta, who joined the Man City revolution three years ago in a £6.5million switch from Spanish side Espanyol, has revealed he has thrown himself into life in Manchester.

“And he is sure Aguero – signed for £38m from Atletico Madrid – will love it too. Although Zabaleta admits ‘Manchester is not Madrid’, he says the city is a lot better than the image painted by Tevez.

“‘Before Sergio came here we were talking about the club and the city,’ Zabaleta revealed.

“’When I spoke to him and he said it was true he was coming to City, I said it was a very nice place with good people.

“’I said he would feel happy here because it gives a lot of respect to football players. He knew a bit about Manchester, he knew the club was growing and they were already a strong team. It is great to see him here and he will be a fantastic player for us.’”

Duncan White in The SundayTelegraph also writes a warm feature on Zaba, delving deeper into what makes him tick.

“Zabaleta’s presence is going to be crucial to Agüero’s integration to life and football in England,” he writes.

“Zabaleta has thrown himself into life in the city since arriving three years ago. He has immersed himself in the club, his commitment admired by the supporters. He even attends reserve team games at Hyde to support some of City’s young players.

“’I went to a few last year,” he said. “It is great to see the young players sometimes – they are the future for this club. My Spanish friend, Joan Roman was playing [in the most recent game] and his family was here and I really enjoyed it. I know all of them, we train together and it is great to see what they are capable of.’”

A terrific feature about a terrific lad.

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