Zabaleta: Tevez will stay to make history
Published 23:00 18/12/10 By Simon Mullock
Pablo Zabaleta expects Carlos Tevez to stay at Manchester City to make history.
The Argentine defender told Sunday Mirror Sport that he was stunned by our revelation last week that Tevez had hit City with a transfer request – even though he is one of the striker’s closest friends.
Zabaleta is ready to help Roberto Mancini convince his captain to change his mind.
And he believes the battle for Tevez’s heart and mind can be won by reminding him of why he crossed the great Manchester divide to join City in the first place.
“I was given two days off after the game against West Ham so I was spending some time in Spain when I heard that Carlos had asked to leave,” said Zabaleta.
“I was sent a text by a friend in England, and at first I didn’t believe it because I had no idea that this was in Carlos’ mind.
“There has been no change in him, no sign that he is unhappy. Nobody knew.
“We will see what happens in January but my own opinion is that Carlos will stay. I just can’t see him leaving Manchester City because there is so much to achieve for him here.
“When he came here he told me he wanted to make history for the club.
“My one wish is that Carlos stays in Manchester. I say this not just because he is my friend, but because he is important to City’s development.
“I believe that Carlos has been good for City and City have been good for Carlos.
“Maybe he wasn’t loved enough at United, but he is loved here and I think that has helped him become an even better player.”
And with Mancini set to ask Tevez to lead City’s attack against Everton tomorrow night, Zabaleta added: “No-one should question Carlos’ attitude.
“His pride will not allow him to give less than 100% in everything he does.
All the players feel the same – that Carlos is one of us – and I think the fans love him as a player and as a man. He is their hero.
“I know Carlos very well and he always seems happy to be at City and happy with the way the team is progressing.
“Of course we have to accept Carlos’ opinion. He knows what he wants for himself and for his family, but I hope that the club can find an answer to the questions he has.”
Zabaleta has also made himself a hero with the fans, with a commitment to the cause that exposes as a myth the claim that players only join City for the money.
The 25-year-old has been employed in a variety of positions by Manicni and his versatility has attracted interest from AC Milan.
Zabaleta, though, practices what he preaches.
He said: “I am ready to play in any position the manager wants me because I am a professional.
“I always give the best I can for the team and hope that is enough.
“We have so many top players here that you do whatever it takes to stay in the team.
“If the manager came to me and said ‘Pablo, we have a problem and I want you to play as goalkeeper’, then I would prepare the best that I could.
“That’s what you accept when you sign a contract for a club – to do what is asked of you for the good of the team.
“I have heard stories that other clubs like me, but my head is focused on doing my best for Manchester City.”