The defender has lavished praised on his Argentine teammate and believes the time was right for Carlos Tevez to leave following his summer move to Juventus.
The 25-year-old forward scored his ninth goal in six games with his second against CSKA Moscow in Tuesday's convincing 5-2 Champions League victory, taking his tally to an impressive 13 for the season.
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"Kun is a very decisive player and has the capacity to change speed with the ball and start and stop with incredible velocity,"
he told Goal. "He has an impressive balance in his lower body, speed to slalom and it is incredible how he finishes.
"Every year, we see some surprising goals. It's hard to see a striker with that capacity because there are some guys like [Lionel] Messi or [Angel] Di Maria that are very fast and can change the game but none like Kun in what he does best. He's one of those seven or eight top strikers in the world."
Another Argentine, Carlos Tevez, left for Juventus in the summer after four years at City and Zabaleta feels the time was right for a change for the controversial former Manchester United attacker.
"We lost contact but he was here for four years," he added. "He is a tremendous player, very respected in England. I think he needed a change of air after so many years here. He's still at a great level."
Tuesday's win over CSKA Moscow guaranteed City a place in the last 16 of the Champions League for the first time in the club's history, and Zabaleta is convinced that Manuel Pellegrini's men have learned from their previous failures in the competition.
"The Champions League is very exigent because you face every top team in Europe," he continued. "The Premier League is one thing, where we have lots of great games but playing with all the teams in Europe, you have no chances to miss.
"We were like rookies and faced two tough groups [in the two years previous]. But we've learned after the experience."