Argentina international, Pablo Zabaleta played at the Etihad Stadium as a City player for the final time on Tuesday night after coming on as a substitute in the second half of their 3-1 win over West Brom.
Zabaleta announced at the weekend he is leaving when his contract expires this summer and concedes it was difficult to bring his time playing at Eastlands to an end.
He said: “It was so tough to play that half an hour. There were so many emotional moments. Every time I was touching the ball, good memories were coming to my mind.”It’s the hardest moment of my City career. I have to be honest and say I never thought when I first came to Manchester I would be here for that long.
“It was a different era for the club but a few days after I signed my contract, everything changed. The new owners came to the club and everything started.
“Being here from day one is something that makes me feel very proud. It’s been a wonderful nine years.
“In life, you have to make tough decisions and always think of what is best for me, for the family, and the club especially. I feel I have done enough and it’s the right time probably for me to move on. This is the hardest moment for me but it’s also so special to be able to say thank you to everyone”.