Messi asks about Man City, reveals Zabaleta

Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta has revealed that Barcelona forward Lionel Messi presses him for information about the Premier League club when they were together on international duty, ESPN has reported.

The pair have known each other since Messi was starting out at Barcelona and Zabaleta was a player at Espanyol, Barcelona’s city rivals, with Zabaleta moving to City shortly before the club was taken over by Abu Dhabi-based billionaire Sheikh Mansour. Zabaleta spent three years with Espanyol and grew close to his compatriot, despite their different club allegiances.

I remember when we were in Barcelona, we were very close friends,” Zabaleta said. “We had known each other for a number of years – I was just starting out at Espanyol and Lionel was at Barca.

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 couldn’t tell him much because I didn’t know much myself. It’s something we often talk about, plus the fact that I’m still here.

Zabaleta is not the only Argentine at the Etihad Stadium, with Sergio Aguero in prolific form for Manuel Pellegrini’s side. The former Atletico Madrid forward moved to City three years after Zabaleta, while Martin Demichelis added to the South American conclave when he joined the club this summer, also from Atletico.

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