Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta is ready for his side’s Premier League title defense next month but before that, he is focused on making a statement against European champions Chelsea in the Community Shield.
The annual face-off between the league champions and the FA Cup winners takes place a week before the title race begins all over again.
Zabaleta knows that the competition will be tough next season but is feeling confident about the way a focused City squad is approaching the start of the new season, with the Community Shield being their first major target.
“As always with success in any walk of life, the key is working hard for the team. That is why we are here in Austria to work hard and be ready for the Community Shield which is a week before the start of the season,” Zabaleta stated during the Citizens’ pre-season preparations.
The 27-year old added: “You can see and detect already that there is a determination and a focus about everyone. Hopefully we can do the same as we did last season and also this time do well in the Champions League too.”
Having won the FA Cup and the Premier League in consecutive seasons between 2010 and 2012, it is almost unanimously agreed that the next step towards City’s establishment as an elite outfit is a successful European display in the 2012-13 campaign.