Pablo Zabaleta was given an emotional farewell on Tuesday as the defender made his last appearance as a Manchester City player at the Etihad.
City had already announced that Zabaleta will leave the club at the end of the season when his contract expires, with West Ham reportedly leading the queue to sign the Argentina international.
City’s fans gave the 32-year-old a fitting send-off when he entered the field during their 3-1 victory over West Brom – and Zabaleta was visibly emotional when addressing the crowd after the match.
Zabaleta actually predates Sheikh Mansour’s takeover of the club, having signed from Espanyol 24 hours before City became one of the richest clubs in the world in 2008.
“When I first came to Manchester I never thought it would be that long to be honest. Being here from day one is something that has made me feel very proud. It’s been a wonderful nine years,” he told Sky Sports.
“In life at times you have to make tough decisions and I always think the best for myself, for the family and for the club especially. I feel it’s the right time for me to go on but believe me, I love this club so much.”
And we’ve taken a look at what makes Zabaleta so loved in the blue half of Manchester.
Kevin De Bruyne was at it again against Burnley.
Jose Mourinho was unsurprisingly not a happy man.
Let’s see more of this.
No prizes for getting No.1.
That poor defender.
One of the Premier League’s most intimidating men.
A tribute to the absolute master of the chip.
Who knew Paul Ince could do *this*?
Twelve to get in 10 minutes.
It makes good reading for the English clubs.