He also developed a taste for fish and chips and learned to speak English.
Even now he spends six hours a week with the same tutor who is teaching Sergio Aguero the lingo.
"It is very important to learn English," said Zabaleta. "When I came here, I didn't speak any English - like Sergio now - but very quickly I had lessons. It's important to speak to the fans.
"Sergio and David (Silva) are improving their English and they both have a really good attitude to learning."
He added: "I also used to live in Didsbury and I like to eat fish and chips. But so what? We are only human."