Emotional Zabaleta proud of ´wonderful nine years´ at Manchester City

17 May 2017 00:01

Pablo Zabaleta thanked Manchester City for making him a better player and a better person as he bade a poignant farewell to the Etihad Stadium after the 3-1 win over West Brom.

City announced over the weekend that Zabaleta would end a celebrated nine-year spell in Manchester when his contract expires at the end of the season.

It turned Tuesday’s final home match of the campaign into a celebration of the popular Argentina international, who has won five major honours having joined City on the eve of Sheikh Mansour’s takeover in 2008.

The 32-year-old looked on from the bench as Gabriel Jesus and Kevin De Bruyne scored in a first half when his compatriot Sergio Aguero dazzled – making Champions League qualification virtually secure ahead of the final-day trip to Watford.

Fellow long-serving star Yaya Toure made it 3-0 before Zabaleta entered the fray in the 62nd minute, when a rapturous welcome brought emotions to the surface.

“It’s probably the hardest moment of my City career,” he told Sky Sports, after being symbolically named as man-of-the-match inside the stadium.

“When I first came to Manchester I never thought it would be that long to be honest. It was a different era for the club

“I’ve been here from day one and I feel very honoured to be honest. It’s been a wonderful nine years.

“In life sometimes you have to make tough decisions. I want to make the right decision for myself, for my family and for the club. It’s the right time for me to move on but, believe me, I love this club.

“Thanks to the fans, the board and everyone at the club – they made me a better player and a better person and I was always proud to wear the shirt.

“It was so hard to play for half an hour, so many emotional moments. The good memories came to my mind.”

Famed for the selfless, all-action displays that became his calling card, Zabaleta was keen to play down the efforts that have won him a permanent place in the affections of the City faithful.

“As I said before, I am so proud,” he added. “What I have done for the club is just what every single player should for the team he is playing for.

“I am so proud to have been in probably the most successful period of City history.”

Tagged with:

livesportchannels.com provides all the info that matters to sports betting fans and variety of legal betting sites to choose. Including previews, match reports, previous meetings and other great stories to help with your betting , odd comparison. We give you betting offers and Live Betting offers, from our official legal betting partners, on all the major sports including Football, Tennis, Cricket, Golf, Horse Racing, Greyhound Racing, Rugby League, Rugby Union, Snooker and much more. THIS WEBSITE IS FOR ENTERTAINMENT AND INFORMATIVE PURPOSES ONLY. WE DO NOT ACCEPT ANY WAGERING, BETTING, GAMING OR GAMBLING IN ANY FORM OR MANNER. 18+ Responsible Betting |Gambling Therapy | Protecting Minors | GamCare | Privacy Policy | Personal Data Request