The former Man City full-back believes the world’s finest player is Erling Haaland.
Manchester City striker Erling Haaland is the world’s best player, according to Pablo Zabaleta.
The 21-year-old Norwegian shunned interest from clubs like Bayern Munich and Barcelona to join City this summer from Borussia Dortmund in a €60 million transfer deal.
Haaland will now hope to replicate the form he showed at Dortmund for the past two years, which saw him score a remarkable 86 goals in 89 appearances, for his debut Premier League campaign.
🗣 "He's a big lad, I saw him and he was like wow."
Pablo Zabaleta on Manchester City bringing in Erling Haaland to the club pic.twitter.com/VnuVB2crEe
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) July 19, 2022
‘He is the best player in the world’
“He’s a big lad, eh? I saw him and was like, ‘wow’,” Zabaleta told Sky Sports about Haaland.
“He was one of the main players on the market and a lot of top teams were looking to sign him.
“We’re all very pleased to have him at the club. I think he’s got that connection already with Man City, because of his dad playing for the club. For me, I would say he’s the best player in the world.
Zabaleta, who made 333 appearances for City between 2008 and 2017, hopes Haaland and Kalvin Phillips’ arrivals can help spur Pep Guardiola’s side to a first Champions League title.
The retired Argentine added: “He’s a world-class player, he’s a great signing, the same as Kalvin Phillips. Fernandinho left, and the club needed to bring someone in to replace him. He’s been really good at Leeds.
“All the players have been doing everything they can to make the club better, domestically they won everything, they have been very successful [and] dominated English football for the last 10 years.
“The Champions League is probably one of those competitions the club is looking for. I’m confident, hopefully they can win it soon.”
Haaland is currently on a pre-season tour of the United States with his new team. The Norway international could make his debut when City face Mexican giants Club America in Texas on Thursday.