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Zabaleta: I love this Club

LIONHEART: Pablo Zabaleta bids farewell to the City fans

LIONHEART: Pablo Zabaleta bids farewell to the City fans

Pablo Zabaleta delivered a heartfelt farewell message of thanks to City’s fans after making an emotion-charged final appearance at the Etihad in Tuesday’s 3-1 win over West Brom.

The Argentine defender, who has secured legendary status at the Club after nine memorable years as a City player, is moving on to make a fresh start elsewhere this summer.

He came on as a substitute to a rapturous reception after 60 minutes of City’s final home game of the season in recognition of his key role in helping City claim two titles, the FA Cup and two League Cup triumphs during his time here.

After the final whistle, Zabaleta was then applauded onto the pitch at the end by the entire squad, accompanied by son Asier and wife Christel and gave an emotional farewell message to the appreciative City fans who had sung his name from the first whistle to the last.

Revealing his favourite moment as a City players was the 2011 FA Cup semi-final win over Manchester United, Zaba was also presented with the leaving gift of a seasoncard for life at the Club.

And he admitted he will never forget his time in Manchester.

“This was the most emotional moment of my City career for sure,” Zaba admitted.

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“When I first came to Manchester, I never thought it would be that long to be honest and it was a different era for the Club.

“But the fact I have been here from day one is something that has made me very proud.

“It has been a wonderful nine years to be honest.

“But in life, sometimes you have to make some tough decisions and I’m always thinking about the best for myself, my family and for the Club especially.

“I thought I had done enough and that it's the right time for me to move on but believe me, I love this Club so much.

"I just want to say thank you to the fans and to everyone: to Sheikh Mansour to Khaldoon Al Mubarak, the board and everyone at this football club.

“They have made me a better player and a better person and it was a big pleasure to wear the shirt.

“From the bottom of my heart, thank you to the fans.”

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