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Pablo pens new long-term contract

Pablo Zabaleta

Pablo Zabaleta

Pablo Zabaleta is staying at City for the long haul - even though it means regular portions of mickey-taking at his local fish shop until the popular Argentine scores another goal.

Zaba, who arrived at the City of Manchester Stadium 15 months ago from Espanyol, signed a new four-and-a-half year deal today to commit himself to Mark Hughes' Blue Revolution.

He revealed he has not only fallen for City's passionate fans but also the English way of life - not least his favourite fish and chips and a trip to the Blackpool illuminations.

The tough-tackling defender's only goal so far in over 50 games for the Blues was a spectacular winner against Wigan in January - the subject of ribbing whenever he nips out for a fish supper.

Pablo takes the inevitable good-natured verbal battering with a pinch of salt. He says: "The guy at our fish shop always says it's easy to remember my last goal - it's the only one!

"But I only used to score once a season in Spain and Argentina - my first job is always to defend, although I'm happy to play where the manager wants in the best league in the world. 

"My English lessons are finished now, I will continue to learn with my team-mates at Carrington. I'm delighted to sign because I'm so happy playing for Manchester City and I love living here.

"My cleaning lady said we should go to see the Blackpool illuminations, and they were fantastic. And right along the front there were so many fish shops, so it was a great place to be!"

Zaba is gearing up for a busy Christmas spell, starting with Sunderland. He revels in home games, saying: "We play in front of over 40,000 passionate fans. It's so different from Spain.

"We need to aim for nine points from these next three games to keep fighting for a good position. If we play well enough we can get into the top four. We have the players for big things."  

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