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Zabaleta set for fond send-off at City, Toure still in dark

20 May, 2017, 11:06 | Author: Alberta Rodriguez
  • Guardiola lauds Zabaleta as Manchester City great

That is why he deserves the best last game here at home.

"There are clubs who have already qualified for next season's Champions League, but for Yaya, Manchester City is a very special club".

As City would go on to win their second Premier League crown in three years, Toure fired in 20 goals from the middle of the park.

The dependable right-back won two Premier League titles with City in addition to the FA Cup and two League Cups, all the while enjoying a positive relationship with the club's fans.

Manchester City are expected to be one of the most active sides in the transfer market this summer, with Guardiola set to shake up his squad after a disappointing first season in England for the former Barcelona boss.

Zabaleta arrived at City from Espanyol in August 2008, a day before the Abu Dhabi takeover transformed the fortunes of the club. We can't say the same thing now. I thought if they call us the noisy neighbours then let's make more noise in the city.

The Argentinian full-back is leaving the Etihad Stadium when his contract expires at the end of the season, with Premier League rivals West Ham the 32-year-old's likeliest destination. In my situation at a big club: I am sacked.

However, Guardiola insisted his focus and that of his players must remain on trying to finish as high as they can in the table, with third place still a possibility. More than anything it's his passion and his commitment to the club.

The Spain global told City's official website following a 2-1 victory over reigning champions Leicester: "The final weeks of the season have been tough, but we could win against Leicester and I'm very happy for these three important points".

"Pablo is a real legend in what he has done in the club", Guardiola told a news conference.

"The club had got a buzz about it that it hasn't had for a long time, at least not since I've been at the club".

Guardiola hopes Zabaleta finishes his time at the club by helping them secure qualification for next season's Champions League, with Guardiola's men now ahead of Arsenal in the race for fourth place.

"One of the most popular players of recent times, Pablo has been a firm crowd favourite with the City supporters who have resonated with his passion, heart and willingness to put his body on the line time and time again".

It also promises to be an emotional night with City fans saying farewell to cult hero Pablo Zabaleta on his last appearance at the Etihad Stadium.

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