Pablo Zabaleta has publicly backed under-fire goalkeeper Claudio Bravo to turn around his current form and yet become a significant member of Manchester City’s squad. Bravo joined City in the summer from Barcelona and came to England with an outstanding reputation, but he has certainly failed to live up to any pre-season expectations.
Bravo was recently ousted by Willy Caballero in goal with the Argentine now the first-choice goalkeeper for Guardiola but Bravo returned between the sticks for both legs of their 5-1 F.A. Cup victory over Huddersfield. Despite a comprehensive victory over the Championship side Bravo was at fault for the goal that gave the Terriers a surprise 7th-minute lead.
Some supporters have grown tired of his failure to make routine saves and ironically cheered Bravo at one point when he saved the second attempt from Huddersfield later in the game. Guardiola and Zabaleta have both publicly backed the Chilean who has been described as one of the best goalkeepers in the world.
Speaking after the game, Zabaleta said:
“We know Claudio, it’s not easy when you come to England. It’s a different league. We’re a team. We support each other. We know exactly what he can do for the team, and that’s it. We are aware how good he is and sometimes it is just about confidence. His distribution with the ball has been really good tonight.”