Tevez hit a hat-trick in victory over West Bromwich Albion yesterday.
Zabaleta told City's website: "Carlos is a tremendous player and he has many more fantastic years ahead of him. He is very important to us as a player, as a person and as a leader, he's one of the best in the business.
"I rate him as one of the best strikers in the world and I think he has found his spiritual home at City because his record is incredible.
"He is also right up there in the race to be the top scorer in the Premier League - he still has 12 games left to score many more goals, and we will do all we can to help him achieve that."