|Desc||A gentle presence off the field, the Argentine was a committed competitor during his successful nine-year stay at Manchester City, cementing a reputation as one of the toughest tackling full-backs of modern times. The fiery full-back became a firm fan’s favourite at the Etihad, his whole-hearted performances during the most successful period in the club’s history endearing him to the City faithful. Often seen taking to the field bloodied and bandaged, the South American slots into our team at right-back|
|Org||Argentina National Team|
|Club as Player||Manchester City|
|West Ham United|
2013 11 09 Retrieve
[Pablo Zabaleta on Sergio Aguero] Kun is a very decisive player. He has the ability to change speed with the ball and start and stop with incredible velocity. He has impressive balance in his lower body, speed to slalom, and his finishing is incredible. Every year we see him score surprising goals and it’s very rare to find a striker who can do that. Guys like Messi and Di Maria are very fast and can change a game, but nobody can match Kun at what he does best
2017 03 10 Retrieve
[Quotes on Frank Lampard] For me, what makes Frank Lampard special is how professional he is in training. You see him at training: He is the first to arrive on the training ground and the last to go home. He won everything with Chelsea, he’s a legend in football and he’s still playing like he’s 18 years old
2017 04 15 Retrieve
[Pablo Zabaleta praises team-mate David Silva after the Spaniard reached the 300-match mark with Manchester City] We are so lucky to have David at Manchester City; he’s been fantastic for so many years. Different class. I could keep talking about David all day because I love him so much. For me, he’s the greatest City player ever
2019 09 19 Retrieve
[Pablo Zabaleta says Kevin De Bruyne has to play every game] Good to see some of the players like Kevin De Bruyne. You see what he brings to that team, he was just absolutely outstanding. We usually see two or three assists from him or maybe goals but what he brings on the ball and off the ball is just fantastic so he really makes a difference. He has to play every single game at the moment.
[Zabaleta, who spent nine memorable years at City before leaving in 2017] Normally when they play a 4-3-3 formation, he [De Bruyne] always plays on the inside but in this game it looked at times like it was a 4-4-2. The picture is just perfect and you see Kevin de Bruyne playing like a striker. Normally we see him play deeper and just play through balls and that but I think he was in a different position, further forward on the pitch. He’s a player who can adapt to different positions. And with all the runs he does, his work-rate off the ball is fantastic
2020 02 22 Retrieve
[Pablo Zabaleta says he will try to give my best every time he play] Unfortunately, we lost a huge player for us in Ryan with his pace and all that, and Ben Johnson has had an injury, so I’m the only one in this position at the moment. We’ve got 12 games left between now and the end of the season and if I am involved in all of the games, I will try to give my best. I always say, since the first day I came to West Ham, I think that Dec is one of the most-talented British players around. He’s been good for us in the last two years. We’re not in the position we would like to be, but I think he has got great potential. He loves West Ham. He’s been here for so long and he came through the Academy so he loves West Ham and you can see in his celebrations when we score that he feels a lot of passion for this club
[The 35-year-old would love nothing more than to sign-off his final appearance at Anfield by helping to send the Reds to their first Premier League defeat of the season] For me, Anfield is one of the best places to play football, anywhere in the world. The atmosphere is always great, whatever the occasion, so it’s one of my favourite grounds, for sure. Liverpool are flying, as we all know. To keep up that level of intensity is absolutely ridiculous. It’s going to be tough, but we just need to go there believing we can get a result
2020 02 22b Retrieve
[Pablo Zabaleta raves about West Ham teammate Declan Rice] I always say, since the first day I came to West Ham, I think that Dec is one of the most-talented British players around. He’s been good for us in the last two years. We’re not in the position we would like to be, but I think he has got great potential. He loves West Ham. He’s been here for so long and he came through the Academy so he loves West Ham
2020 04 26 Retrieve
[Pablo Zabaleta makes West Ham admission amid message for Hammers fans] Realistically, it’s not going to be the same. The Premier League and all the countries I’m sure will try to restart the league, but nothing will be the same. Mentally it’s very tough but as I say, all I’m trying to do is stay positive. For me, also because I was coming to the end of my career and it was my last season in England, and obviously I wanted to finish that season in a different way, playing in front of the fans, having those emotions and that adrenaline you always feel you need for the games. I know this but I will find myself maybe playing in front of empty stadiums with no fans and with different emotions, but that is something I cannot manage myself. Nobody expected this virus. It is the first time for many generations and it will change our style of life – that’s it. I need to accept it
s[Zabaleta has delivered a key message for his team-mates and fans alike from his family home in Barcelona, where he is currently residing during the lockdown, having been given permission from the Hammers to return to Spains] This is the moment to stay at home, to be responsible, and of course for us as players we need to wait for the government and Premier League to make their decision and see if we can come back soon to our normal routine
2020 04 27 Retrieve
[Pablo Zabaleta believes his last Premier League game may be in empty stadiums] I was coming to the end of my career and it was my last season in England, and I wanted to finish in a different way, playing in front of the fans, having those emotions and that adrenaline. I know this but I will find myself maybe playing in empty stadiums and with different emotions, but that’s something I cannot manage myself
[Zabaleta won two Premier League titles, two League Cups and the FA Cup with Manchester City before joining West Ham in 2017] The Premier League and all the countries I’m sure will try to restart the league, but nothing will be the same. I need to accept it … Mentally it’s tough but as I say, all I’m trying to do is stay positive.
2020 05 07 Retrieve
[Pablo Zabaleta revealed Manchester City players were putting Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo up in the locker room after being taken over in 2008] Ten days after my arrival, the purchase of the club by the people of Abu Dhabi is executed. Four days later, they invest £40 million for Robinho and there I said, ‘Now what do I do? I’m going to last six months here’. We took it a bit as a joke and…in the locker room we started putting ‘Messi’, ‘Cristiano Ronaldo’. We were sh*tting ourselves.
I think about it every day. I wake up thinking, ‘Is this what awaits me after retirement?’ Now, somehow, we’ll go back to training and we will see. But it’s all still uncertain. I had even come to think, at the end of this season, to give myself the joy of playing one more season in another league, perhaps in Italy, but now I don’t know. The chances are you won’t play in front of a crowd, so what motivation could I have left? Why go to Italy if mythical stadiums like the Olimpico in Rome or San Siro will be closed?
In addition to everything it would have lacked on the field, without Leo, the AFA [Argentine Football Association] would have had much less money. Of course Leo generated fabulous income and that meant that Argentine clubs also had more money. In the improvements of the infrastructure of Argentine soccer, there is Leo. Leo is a product that generates millions, and Argentine football will have to be grateful all his life because for him, the AFA had millions of dollars that he will surely have poured into the clubs