Zabaleta thankful for support
Pablo Zabaleta has thanked Mark Hughes for his support after being left out of the latest Argentina squad.
By Patricio Figueroa
Last Updated: 01/04/09 1:04pm
Pablo Zabaleta has thanked Manchester City manager Mark Hughes for his support after being left out of the latest Argentina squad.
Hughes voiced his surprise earlier this week that Diego Maradona had overlooked Zabaleta for the World Cup qualifier against Venezuela.
Hughes respected Maradona's decision but praised his versatile defender for doing 'fabulously well' in his first season in the Premier League.
Zabaleta hopes to break back into the Argentina squad but is prepared to be patient and has been buoyed by Hughes' comments.
"I am thankful for what the coach said about me that I should be called to the national team," he told Indirecto.
"Besides that this is my first season in England and that I have played many games. I understand his support and I am happy because of it. That means that he keeps on trusting in me.
"I am calm because I am working well at my team and there is still some time before Diego decides the list of players that will be going to the World Cup.
"I would be very proud to be called to the national team and have a word with Maradona.
"He deserves to be the coach of Argentina and it must be really nice to have the chance to talk with him."
Hughes pointed out that Maradona could have spoken to Zabaleta earlier this year when he paid visits to Manchester United and Liverpool, but the 24-year-old maintains that he was not too concerned about the situation.
He explained: "I am not worried that Diego went to see the players of Manchester United and he didn't do the same with us because I am aware that I have played only a few games for Argentina.
"In addition, he isn't obliged to come and visit me."