Rooney faces City on Sunday in a repeat of last season’s fixture and his spectacular late winner.
“Both are great players, for each team,” said Zabaleta.
“Sergio and Rooney are top, top strikers, not just in the Premier League, but around the world.
“They are very similar players and also important for both teams and they both keep scoring goals so it’s going to be great to see Rooney and Sergio.
And if he had to pick one, who would it be?
“You know, easily for me, Sergio!”