• FA Cup

Zabaleta cites Dad inspiration for FA Cup glory

ESPN staff
April 16, 2013
Manchester City into FA Cup Final

Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta has said he wants to win the FA Cup for his father, who is continuing his recovery after suffering serious injuries in a car crash two years ago.

Zabaleta hopes Jorge, who was in a coma for several weeks after the accident in Argentina, will be well enough to travel to Wembley to watch City take on Wigan.

The Argentina international full-back helped City reach the final with a 2-1 win over Chelsea, also at Wembley, on Sunday.

And he wants to welcome his father to the national stadium as he attempts to help City lift the trophy for the second time in three seasons.

"I will ask him if he's good to try and come for the final," he said. "My wish would be to bring all the family here. He wasn't well enough to make it to the semi-final, but he'll have been watching the game on TV.

"He is getting better and progressing all the time, which is fantastic. But for him to fly 18 hours would be difficult, and he would need some people to travel with him and look after him."

Zabaleta said that although City's defence of their Premier League title had been disappointing, the FA Cup offered the chance to continue their trophy-winning run.

"The Premier League is the one everyone wants - but we know how important the FA Cup is, and winning it would be a great end to the season," Zabaleta said. "A team like City need to keep winning a trophy every year."

But he warned that final opponents Wigan would present a tough challenge, saying: "[Manager] Roberto Martinez is doing a fantastic job for them, and anything can happen in a one-off game."

City face Wigan at the Etihad in a Premier League dress-rehearsal for the final on Wednesday, with the Latics needing the points in their battle against relegation and City looking to strengthen their grip on second place.

"It is a crucial game for them," Zabaleta said. "But we also need to get three points to finish as high as possible."

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