Liga - Zabaleta invites Messi for fish and chips in Didsbury

Pablo Zabaleta claims he can convince Barcelona star Lionel Messi to join Manchester City, using the city's culinary delights as bait.

The pair have been friends for many years, having represented Argentina on a number of occasions together.

With the two players' teams meeting in the last 16 of the Champions League, the defender reckons he can persuade the Blaugrana sensation to sign for the Citizens.

“I can convince him to join City. I'd love to take him out and about in Manchester,” he told Marca. “Maybe we'd head to Didsbury and eat fish and chips. I think he'd like that.

“Yes, I've spoken to Messi about City. Just after I'd signed, I took advantage of some time off they'd given us and went back to Barcelona.

“I stayed at his house and everybody was talking about the club's new owners and all the money. Leo has asked me what it's like in Manchester.

“When you play against Leo, even if you have a great game, you only have to take your eye off the ball once for him to score.

“Messi hasn't changed a bit; success hasn't gone to his head. He's won everything, but he's the same guy he was before he hit the big time.

“We lived in the same city when I was at Espanyol and we were mates and hung out for three years. We were young, free and single - they were good times.”

Read the original article on Football Espana - The ultimate website for English-speaking fans of Spanish football