Zabaleta: City have a point to prove in Europe
Manchester City prepare for CSKA clash
Pablo Zabaleta believes Manchester City can take a giant stride towards their aim of becoming one of Europe's superpowers by qualifying for the last 16 of the Champions League for the first time.
A victory for City against CSKA Moscow on Tuesday would secure their place in the knockout stages with two games to go unless the underdogs from Viktoria Plzen beat defending champions Bayern Munich.
City's two previous Champions League campaigns both ended at the group stage, with Roberto Mancini's team taking ten points to finish third in their pool in 2011-12 and propping up Group D last season, when they failed to win a game and only earned three points.
"In the last two seasons, our performance in the Champions League was really poor," admitted right-back Zabaleta. "It is time for this club to take a step forward. Hopefully in the next few years we can be one of the top clubs in Europe."
Zabaleta, 28, is one of City's longest-serving players, having joined from Espanyol in 2008, and he has seen how they have been transformed since then,
"If we can qualify for the next round, it will be great for this club," he added. "I think in the last four or five years this club has been improving incredibly. The owners been spending money to try and build one of the best teams in Europe.
"We won the FA Cup and the Premier League but the Champions League is a different competition. Sometimes it takes time."