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Former Argentina international ponders retirement

Tuesday July 16 2019

West Ham United's Pedro Obiang (right) celebrates scoring their first goal with Pablo Zabaleta during their Premier League match against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium, London on January 4, 2018. PHOTO | FILE |

West Ham United's Pedro Obiang (right) celebrates scoring their first goal with Pablo Zabaleta during their Premier League match against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium, London on January 4, 2018. PHOTO | FILE |  REUTERS

AFP
By AFP
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NANJING

Pablo Zabaleta says this will be his last season in the Premier League and could even be his final campaign before retirement.

The veteran Argentine defender has signed a new one-year deal with West Ham United and revealed on Tuesday that it will be his swansong in English football.

Asked if he will retire for good after the coming season, Zabaleta, speaking in the Chinese city of Nanjing, said: "I don't know, honestly.

"The reason I'm here is because I'm still enjoying my football.

"I think I can still give 100 percent for the team and use my experience.

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"I know I'm 34 and I'm getting a bit old and coming to the end of my career, I'm honest with myself," said Zabaleta, who joined Manuel Pellegrini's West Ham from Manchester City two years ago.

"But I'm still a good professional and try to give everything for the team.

"I'm still enjoying (being) around the team and helping young players.

"Definitely will be my last season in England, for sure, this is something that I know," added the right back, who was twice a Premier League champion with City.

"But I don't know in football, it's not the right time to think about retirement now with a long season ahead."

Zabaleta, who was one of the finest full-backs in English football in his pomp, said, "I will miss the Premier League a lot, for sure."

West Ham will play Zabaleta's former side in Nanjing on Wednesday in the Premier League Asia Trophy.

The other game is between Newcastle United and Wolves.

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