Zabaleta, 29, has become a fan-favourite at the Etihad, racking up 156 Premier League starts for the English champions since his signing from Espanyol in 2008.
However, he believes he is not quite to the same level as some of his teammates.
"I came to Manchester City when I was 23 years old," Zabaleta told the Daily Mail. "I had played in Spain but it's more physical, more dynamic here. I feel I have become better as a player every year.
"And the recognition from the fans is the best thing you can have as a player because it means you are doing well. This is enough for me.
"I have always felt I am not the star player. I'm not a world-class player like David Silva or Yaya Toure. They are the stars. I just try to do my best, to do my job for the team.
"And I have to work very hard to keep my place in the team because I understand the competition we have for places here. That is healthy but you know that you have to do well because if you don't they will probably sign another player."
Meanwhile, the Argentina international revealed the dynamic in the club's dressing room is "so much better" than in the past.
"We have to learn from the mistakes and make sure we don't repeat them," he said. "To be one of the most important clubs in the world - like Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United - behaviour is so important.
"But, look, the dynamic of the dressing room is so much better than it was before. We saw many players coming and going, being sold or going on loan.
"Now we see players like Aguero and [Samir] Nasri, Silva and [Vincent] Kompany signing extensions to their contracts. Now the club is different. We have players who have been here for four or five years together.
"It's not just about big names when you are trying to achieve success in football. It is about creating a mentality in the group."