Zabaleta happy to face Messi

Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta is relishing the thought of playing against Argentine team-mate Lionel Messi in the UEFA Champions League.

Last Updated: 16/12/13 at 16:57 Post Comment

Pablo Zabaleta: Man City defender happy to face Lionel Messi

Pablo Zabaleta: Man City defender happy to face Lionel Messi

City drew Barcelona in the last 16 of the Champions League allowing Zabaleta and compatriots Sergio Aguero and Martin Demichelis to face Messi for a place in the quarter-finals of Europe's elite competition in the New Year.

The 28-year-old told the City's official website: "I played against Lionel for Espanyol against Barcelona and I recall in my second season at City when we played in the Nou Camp in the Joan Gamper Trophy against Barcelona and we won 1-0 with a goal from Martin Petrov so I think we're about level at the moment!

"When we were in Barcelona we were very close friends because we were living in the same city and we had known each other for a number of years.

"I was just starting out at Espanyol and Lionel was at Barca and when I signed for City, I think two days later the news broke that Sheikh Mansour had bought the club and Lionel always recalls that I joined at such a fantastic time.

"He asked me a lot about City but I didn't know that much because I didn't know that much myself but it's something we often talk about plus the fact I'm still here!"

Zabaleta says winning the Champions League will be difficult but City will be doing their best to try and win the competition.

"As a player, you have to try and win everything you are involved in. There are differences between each competition, of course," he said.

"The Premier League is over 38 games while the Champions League and World Cup have fewer games and anything can happen.

"From my own experience, winning the Premier League was so special because it means everything to the players and the supporters and is the biggest prize in England. As for the Champions League, we are up against the best teams in Europe - but we will try our best and you never know in football."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

M

eanwhile, England's best U21 players playing with those most likely to be in the senior team from 2020 onwards might increase their chances in those tournaments to a point where they could actually be potential winners. Unlike 2016.

shagwa
Wenger warns Hodgson

I

m not a doctor, but the cause is likely to be crap dancing after scoring. My prognosis is we may need to take that leg off.

GVMUFC
Rodgers reveals Sturridge woe

F

or the time being we just have to focus on the players we do have, Rodgers said. We have to make the best of what is available. Jesus wept!

rodger's gusset
Rodgers reveals Sturridge woe

Footer 365

Premier League: Tottenham's Christian Eriksen secures dramatic win at Hull

Christian Eriksen snatched a late winner as Tottenham fought back to claim a 2-1 victory over 10-man Hull.

Premier League: Crystal Palace come from behind to stun Liverpool

Liverpool endured another forgettable afternoon at Selhurst Park on Sunday as they were beaten 3-1 by Crystal Palace.

Premier League: Tottenham's Mauricio Pochettino disagreed with Hull boss Steve Bruce on red card

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino disagreed with Hull boss Steve Bruce's opinion on Gaston Ramirez's red card.

Mail Box

Oh Arsenal. Why Oh Why Oh Effing Why?

We have plenty of fallout from Arsenal's latest display of outrageous incompetence, plus the question of why every team seems to be getting worse. Plus, another Garcia ghost goal...

A Funny Mail About Line Dancing & More

We have some great responses to young Jack's question about how readers first got into football. Plus, finally some intelligent thoughts on Dave Whelan's outburst...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property