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

H

e doesn't need a caoch. He needs a bus. A bloody big one, that he can park across the goal line. And when he gets one, he can do us a favour and let us know where we can buy one from as well.

HarryBoulton
Rodgers: No defence coach

Y

ou are wrong Per, thats the right way the play. Its everyone elses' fault that it doesnt work.

delboy
Mertesacker urges style change

A

s it's panto season coming soon, let me be the first Oh yes you do

munchie
Rodgers: No defence coach

Footer 365

Sky sources: Mike Ashley proposes an emergency loan offer to Rangers

Sky Sports understands that Mike Ashley is proposing an emergency loan offer to Rangers.

Europa League: Everton investigating trouble in Lille before Thursday's match

Everton will work with Merseyside and French police to establish the facts about Thursday's crowd trouble in Lille.

Premier League: Tottenham to commemorate Bill Nicholson at Sunday's game against Newcastle

Tottenham will commemorate Bill Nicholson by bathing White Hart Lane in white when they face Newcastle on Sunday.

Mail Box

'Goals Like That Can Make You Pregnant'

Those being sniffy about Erik Lamela's rabona are given short shrift in the afternoon mailbox, where criticism of Brendan Rodgers is smashed out of the park...

Does David De Gea Need Competition?

It would certainly be a good idea to give Victor Valdes a contract, while we have more mails on Brendan Rodgers, Arsene Wenger, the rabona and mailbox gripes...

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