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City have a bright future in world's best league, says City slicker Zabaleta

14 March 2009 02:14
Pablo Zabaleta has no doubt the Barclays Premier League is the best in the world.

The Argentina international only moved to England last August from Espanyol but already he can see the difference in quality.

With four contenders remaining in the last eight of the Champions League and Manchester City

on the brink of claiming a quarter-final berth in the UEFA Cup, it seems a fairly obvious statement to make that England the current number one.

Class above: Pablo Zabaleta (R) is confident Manchester City can copy Aston Villa next season and challenge the Premier League's elite

Yet as long as there are critics in Italy and Spain who decry theefforts of English clubs, Zabaleta believes it is a point worthstressing.

'This is the best league in the world,' he said.

'Thereare four English teams in the quarter-finals of the Champions Leagueand we are still in the UEFA Cup, which says it all.

'I have not been here long but I am really enjoying myself.'

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Ifthere is a drawback it is that the same four teams keep finishing inthose all-important Champions League places. Yet long-term, though,City look a better bet.

They may not manage it this season,their sights lowered at a seventh-place finish and preferably a UEFACup win to ensure European football next season and end a 33-yeartrophy drought.

However, with vast sums of cash provided bytheir Abu Dhabi backers, Zabaleta can only see a rosy future for theEastlands club.

'The aim of the club is to get into the topfour,' said Zabaleta, who celebrated an Olympic gold medal in Beijinglast summer before linking up with his new team-mates.

'We havethe chance to make history here. The club have money and in the summerI think there will be even more good players coming, so it is up to theones who are here now to play very well for the manager and pushManchester City even higher.'

The only way is up: Zabaleta insists mega-rich City have a rosy future in store



Ironically, they now head to Chelsea

looking for their first Premier League away win since August.

RomanAbramovich has created a template for City's new owners to follow andZabaleta is quietly optimistic his team-mates can strike an unexpectedblow.

'We are capable of winning,' he added.

'We need to concentrate for the entire game because Chelsea have some good forwards.

'But defensively we are very organised, we are more confident because we have started winning and we feel confident.

'It will be difficult because Chelsea are a great team. But we can do it.'

With10 games remaining, City do need to find some decent away form if theyare to stand a chance of overhauling West Ham

, who beat them at UptonPark last month.

'This is going to be a very good test for us,' he said.

'Generally, our performances have been good and we are moving up the table.

'West Ham are within touching distance now and it is important to get above them.'

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Source: Daily_Mail