Hughes backs Zabaleta for Argentina
Manchester City boss Mark Hughes has questioned Argentina coach Diego Maradona's stance in overlooking Pablo Zabaleta. The 24-year-old again missed out this week, remaining with the Blues as his country hammered Venezuela to strengthen their claims for a place at next summer's World Cup in South Africa. As one of the most consistent players in Hughes' team, Zabaleta's omission has come as a surprise to the Blues boss, particularly as he was part of Argentina's gold-winning squad at the Beijing Olympics. Yet Maradona did not make any effort to see the former Espanyol star when he called in at Manchester United and Liverpool after taking charge of the national side last year. And Hughes told City's official website: "Maradona has been about 300 yards from our training ground, so he only needed to pop in. "Pablo is still a young player and I'm sure his time will come, because he is doing fabulously well in the hardest league in the world. "Maradona is aware of him but it is his decision. "As managers we stand or fall by our decisions, and so will he."
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