The Argentinean was brought on as a sub in City's 3-1 win over West Bromwich Albion.
Zabaleta, who has spent nine years at the club since moving from Espanyol in 2008, was applauded onto the field after 60 minutes of play.
It is unknown where Zabaleta will ply his trade next season, but reports have linked him with a move to West Ham United.
Speaking after the match, Zabaleta revealed: “When I first came to Manchester, I never thought it would be that long to be honest and it was a different era for the Club.
“But the fact I have been here from day one is something that has made me very proud.
“It has been a wonderful nine years to be honest.
“But in life, sometimes you have to make some tough decisions and I'm always thinking about the best for myself, my family and for the Club especially.
“I thought I had done enough and that it's the right time for me to move on but believe me, I love this Club so much."
— Manchester City (@ManCity) May 16, 2017