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

C

lassic management. Build them up and then knock them back. Raise expectations and then dampen them. Create a dynamic where by you demand the most from your team, but where the team are given room to manoeuvre unexpected or unwanted results. Classy work by Van Gaal, he really reminds me a lot of me. A smart cookie, make no doubt.

hump3.
Van Gaal: 'I struggle for first three months'

H

e will be the England left back for ten years or more, and then you will have to thank MUFC for that. *smiles*

london saint
Shaw: Criticism spot on

P

urely because of that little diva moment he had last night, I don't want him coming to my club. DESTROYED ? Grow up and give something back to the club that helped put you up there on the world stage.

bale doubt
Saints' Schneiderlin stalemate

Footer 365

Diego Costa gets two assists Chelsea's 3-1 win over Vitesse Arnhem

Diego Costa grabbed two assists as Chelsea beat Vitesse Arnhem 3-1 on Wednesday

Women's football: Natasha Dowie says Fara Williams can earn 200 caps

Fara Williams has enough ability to earn 200 caps for England, according to Liverpool Ladies team-mate Natasha Dowie

Women's football: Dunia Susi and Rachel Brown-Finnis out of England's game with Sweden

England Women’s boss Mark Sampson has been hit by two withdrawals from his squad ahead of Sunday's game against Sweden

Mail Box

Divock Origi Is Like Connor Sammon (Sort Of)

One Mailboxer inserts his tongue into cheek to offer his thoughts on Liverpool's newest signing. Plus thoughts on league-owned clubs, badges, and swearing...

Mails Come From A Land Down Under

We have an example of league-owned clubs from Australia while Kiwi boys want more respect for refs. Plus, Van Gaal won't stick with 3-5-2 and worried if Koeman will cut it...

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