Pablo Zabaleta has encouraged future speculation regarding Lionel Messi by claiming that the Barcelona man ‘often asks’ about life at Manchester City.
“I remember when we were in Barcelona we were very close friends because we were living in the same city and had known each other for a number of years,” City full-back and Argentine colleague Zabaleta has explained to The Guardian this week.
“I was just starting out at Espanyol and Lionel was at Barca. When I signed for City I think two days later the news broke that Sheikh Mansour had bought the club and Lionel always recalls that I joined at such a fantastic time.
“He asked me a lot about City but I couldn't tell him much because I didn't know much myself – but it's something we often talk about. Plus the fact that I'm still here.”
Zabaleta mused on a possible meeting this season on the pitch with Messi.
“If we have to face Barca in the Champions League, we will be ready and I think it will be a fantastic game – but we'll wait and see.
“I played against Messi for Espanyol against Barça and I recall in my second season at City when we played in the Nou Camp in the Joan Gamper Trophy and we won 1-0 with a goal from Martin Petrov.
“So I think we are about level at the moment.”