Pablo ZABALETA taking coaching badges, would consider Manchester City

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Pablo Zabaleta West Ham
Pablo Zabaleta playing with West Ham.

Current West Ham United and former Argentina international Pablo ZABALETA has already started working towards becoming a coach while hinting at possibly retiring in the Middle East.

Now 33 years old, veteran Pablo ZABALETA has achieved a lot in his career. An Olympic gold medalist with Argentina as well as being an U20 World Cup winner, he reached a World Cup final with his country in 2014 and is a two time English Premier League winner with Manchester City. However, he is near the end of his career and it looks like he could retire outside of a top European league. Speaking with Arab News, here’s what ZABALETA had to say:

“My heart tells me I would like to play forever, but I will be 34 in January and I need to listen to my body at that time. At the end I will know what I want to do and where to go, but I would like one or two more years to carry on playing. At 34 I think it might be the right time to try something different, have a new experience.

“If I carry on playing in Europe, Italy is one of those leagues I haven’t played, but I have always been thinking about the Middle East. I first went to the UAE for the Under-20 World Cup in 2003 and have seen how much the region has changed. I’ve been to Saudi Arabia and Qatar with the national team and you see the fantastic progress, football standards improving and passion of fans.

“The League is not as long as in Europe, but there’s still the chance to play for trophies, to play big games competitively like in the Asian Champions League. I can’t see myself going to China; the Middle East and America are more attractive.

“I know the Middle East clubs have three or four spots for foreign players and they always try to bring attackers who have more influence on a game. But I’ve been playing in the top leagues and believe I can give experience, versatility and quality.”

ZABALETA has stated that he spoke to Manuel LANZINI, who at one point also played in the Middle East.

“I spoke to Manu about his experience and he said it was great. But the difference was he was only 21, then wanted to go to Europe and test himself further. He said the lifestyle was fantastic, you train late in the evenings because of the conditions. After England, this is what I’m looking for.

“You see Ahmed MUSA was playing for Leicester, did well in the World Cup and had attractive offers from Europe, but went to Saudi Arabia with Al-Nassr. It was a surprise, but this is what can happen now. I have read Saudi Arabia are thinking about 2030, changing many things to make it better. Football and sport is important to this.”

The former Manchester City man is already working on his coaching badges and is not opposed to one day possibly coaching the current Premier League winners.

“Why not? I spent nine years at Man City, it was like a home and my last meeting with (chairman) Khaldoon AL-MUBARAK, he said the door will be open for me to come back to Man City in some role, so we will see. It would be special.

“I know Pep did this and went to Qatar after playing for Barcelona and then moved into coaching. It would be nice to do that. I have done my B license, next is the A license. In football you never know, but I’d like to keep involved, whether as a manager or off the field. I want to prepare myself by having those badges.

“I’m always watching football, talking about it. Whether it’s Spain, Italy, China or the Middle East. My phone is full of football apps.”

45 COMMENTS

  1. Isnt it ironic that Argentina have so many gud or great coaches, younger and older.. (If we look worldwide we have the best coaches)

    And Argentina National Team don’t have a permanent coach. None of them want to coach us too..

    Reallyyy…

    • Gareca and Pekerman would have said YES in a heartbeat unlike the posers coaching AM and Tottenham who are more concerned with fame, fortune and looking good in a suit!

      • and just to be fair, there is nothing wrong with seeking more money and recognition but what burns my ass is when they run their mouths about the NT and criticizes certain players and not doing anything about it. I’d rather if they kept their traps shut and said nothing.

        • defox1942: i agree on the money and id struggle to find any of us on here who would quit a job earning them 3.5 mill g.b.p (poch) and sim 4.5 g.b.p per year for a mere 250,000 g.b.p per year.

      • goodness sake Simeone is not overrated. he took an average team to european powerhouse with players that are not superstars and budget a fraction of barca, real, city, etc. Poch is also doing well compared with budgets of Manu, City, and Chelsea.

      • Simeone is a great coach. Possibly the Best Argentine coach out there. The guy took an average team and made it a tough team to beat. Even won the league which is dominated by real and barca. Which is not easy. Nearly won CL. Whichever team he coached he left a mark with them.

        Wheather his system may suit the NT. That’s another question. We won’t know it until he coaches us. Great coaches can always tweak their systems. That’s what make them great.

        Anyway we will see may be after 10 years probably.

  2. Agueroooo close to another record in PL…..2nd fastest to 150 goals behind Shearer. Hes currently 8th place in most goals scored in prem. he has 150 and could reach maybe 3rd place behind rooney at 209 and Shearer at 260 (crazy ass record, unbeatable) by the time he’s retired.

    • Bro.He is unbelievable player
      I think his goal ratio is number 1
      I mean minutes he played and
      Goals he scored is really insane
      Hate or love it …
      aguero is phenomenal For me
      aguero didn’t get the recognition
      He deserves

      • found this on reddit..assists really help his G/A stats. Icardi would be higher if its just goals as i think he’s the most clinical from a stats perspective.

        Aguero G/A every 72 mins

        Kane G/A every 139 mins

        Icardi G/A every 94 mins

        Lewandowski G/A every 88 mins

        Suarez G/A every 85 mins

    • What a night. messi’s goal imo was easily the best technical goal of the tournament. Few people in the entire world could have pulled it off at that speed with so much control and a defender chasing him – 2 perfect touches to land at his feet. Heres a slow motion of it in case anyone missed it. Ive watched it 300 times and it still amazes me.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVFEBg8KcSc

  3. I think in the first half Foyth was better than Alderweireld who is much more experienced than him. It was the second half where he dropped his game but I still think Pochettino should continue to start him. He has a lot of potential to become a world class defender. Plus, versatile enough to play in defensive midfield where he spent the last minutes of the game yesterday.

    • Foyth is another young player who is somehow promoted thanks to being called up to NT. I must to say that again: there’s no better way of promotion and advert for young player than call him up early (even as reserve club player). Then he will draw attention of better clubs or get more minutes in A team. Then they are getting more experience in A teams, or in better teams (if transfered) and at the same time in experience in NT – finally becoming better players for Argentina. It’s like feedback loop.

      So yes, there are only positives of early call ups. If you need good alternatives for old stars first you have to give a chance possible future stars before they actually become stars.

    • Foyth and Cristian Romero, two ’98 category centerbacks, once played together on Sudamericano – they are in similar points of their career. Some mistakes due to lack of experience but massive potentiall and deserves for another starts for their clubs.

    • Such an exciting prospect. Albeit being a bit stupid several plays by holding the ball too long or trying to dribble through 3 opponents, i love his confidence on the ball. But with more games, hell wisen up. I really hope poch does not hold the 2 pens against him.

  4. Allegri has finally realized that Dybala is a forward not a playmaker. He is the most dangerous playing up front.
    If he continues to play like this and we also field him up there then hebis a starter for me.

    Lamela also is a starter for me if he continues like this and shows fitness. I expect him to make his mark in the next friendlies and affirm his.

    Sadly there is no Palacios again. With him, Paredes, Dybala, Lo Celso, Lamela we have shooters from distance. What we lacked.

    There are also many two way players (good defensively and offensively).
    And we have lungs.

    Juan foyth will be a superstar. I have no doubt about that. Happy for Mammana.
    Pezzella and Tagliafico are leaders.

    The only position that concerns me is the goalkeepers.
    Hope for Andrada and Benitez to burst into the team. Hope for Rulli ( havent given up on him) to come back stronger.

    • Well put.

      In addition to keeper, although i think Romero and Armani are fine for now, replacement LB is still concern. Acuna gets the job done but thats not his true position. And at RB, Saravia did great but it was only 1 game, Mercado always did great but he’s 31 and Bustos has not show what he’s capable of.

      DM is somewhat of concern as Batta and Ascaciab are good but not amazing. i tend to favor the little pit bull Ascacibar because he’s better on the ball but Batta adds height and muscle.

  5. This false 9 position in Juve’s 433 is perfect for Dybala, especially with a true winger like Costa or Cuadrado on his right. I always said Cr7’s arrival is benefit to Dybala because the coach got to put a false 9 with him in order to exploit his potential. That’s how it worked for the Portuguese when he was at Man United(Tevez) and at Madrid(Benzema). Dybala used to play this role in Palermo as well so won’t be strange to him. Anyway he’s the only eligible false 9 in juve.

    Lamela coming back too. All he need is a central position and more freedom, with a powerful box to box like Sissoko on his right and 2 midfielders behind him, cannot ask for more. He wasn’t disappointing last night but we all know that Erikssen is the boss so I wonder how long he can still stay at this position.

    • Foyth😂😂😂……he gave away 2 penalties in his first league start …..pochchotino was furious on him…….I don’t think he will get another league start soon

      • That was soft penalties
        Plus first one was trippier’s fualt
        Other than that he had solid game
        I’m sure he will get another chance
        After wards poch said he was happy
        With his performance so a lot of spurs fans so please don’t say He won’t get another chance that is way to harsh for young lad Who just had very good game up to That point..

        • godin11: agreed they were soft pens, foyth had a great 1st half but his lack of experience showed when players went looking for the soft pens and he fell for it-he will learn from this,
          when it went not so good for foyth poch got it exactly correct by not taking him off to ruin his day but he moved foyth into the mids bringing on sanc to bolter the defense-great man management by poch and cleaver coaching.
          most of the spurs fans said “these things happen” and he will learn”

          • love how the fans were still clapping and supporting him throughout the match, despite both pens. they know he’s young and needs mental support.

            Now only if the dogshit arg media and garbage petulant argentina supporters did the same with our national team. show support instead of casting stones…fucking scumbags all of em.

    • Very good. The penalties spoilt his day and gave English pundits to have a real go at him.
      He is too casual like Demichelis and his game reminds me of him.

      • Demichelis was one of the first
        Ball player center backs in this era
        He was top defender and play highest level of football underappreciated Player
        I’m sure pep gaurdiola would start him every game …

        I only see foyth will be one of best
        Defenders of his generation
        Pending on stay injury free
        And play under pochettino
        He is top coach especially
        Developing young players..

      • demi was very very good until that horrific injury to his face and he was never quite the same after it, he lost a lot of confidence because of it and it showed in the way he played when he finally played again.

  6. I will never forget the confidence this guy gave us during WC14… He was truly a Word beater in his position at that time. Peaked his career at the best possible time for Argentina.
    That Fighter attitude against Netherlands after getting injured. 💚

    Thank You Zaba. ❤❤❤

  7. Love Zaba, always a class act and a hell of a servant/warrior for the NT. I would be really glad to see him finish up in the middle east where us arabs could learn a thing or 2 from his experience.

    Now for our boys in europe:

    -Coco with another awesome performance but sadly Foyth just sallied all the good will he got from previous game. He’s still young though so no need to lose faith in the kid this early.
    – Dybala with a messi-esque goal, seems to be getting his concentration back and Allegri should realize by now that he needs to be playing more centrally rather than further right.
    – Lautaro did well with his hustle and off the ball movement but he should’ve nabbed himself a goal while Romero actually did well considering his team ate 5 goals.
    – Pereyra apparently had a so-so game with Watford (according to whoscored), haven’t seen the game or the highlights so I can’t comment.
    -Our boys a the back did well, especially pezzella who had an awesome match while Tagliafico continues to perform for Ajax, which could mean that Arsenal could come back knocking with a bigger offer (10million euros is a joke IMO!).
    – Lastly W. Benitez had another strong performance and he’s the GK to watch (along with Gazzaniga).

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