City bowed out of the Champions League at the Nou Camp on Wednesday as a 2-1 defeat to the Spanish champions condemned them to a 4-1 aggregate loss in the last-16 tie.
But in terms of performance, Zabaleta felt the team did themselves proud - although he himself blotted the copybook somewhat by being sent off after picking up a second booking for dissent.
The Argentinian believes City will soon put their disappointment aside if they can channel the same energy and attitude into their one remaining trophy target for the season.
The 29-year-old said: "We had determination and character in the Camp Nou. It is never easy to come to Barcelona and get the result we did.
"We should learn about all these things. I am 100 per cent sure if we keep playing like we did there we can win some trophy."
City have fallen nine points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea while concentrating on cup football over the past three weeks.
They do have three games in hand as a result, but the pressure will be on as they look to start their catch-up job at Hull on Saturday.
Zabaleta said: "Hopefully we can keep playing with that intensity.
"We know the only trophy we go for now until the end of the season is the Premier League.
"We know how tough Hull away is but we have a fantastic team.
"It is just belief and playing with intensity. With this team, playing the way we did on Wednesday, we can beat anybody."
City are facing an anxious wait for an update on the fitness of top scorer Sergio Aguero.
The Argentina striker, in only his third game back after a hamstring injury, did not return for the second half in Barcelona after feeling a twinge in a similar area.
Assistant manager Ruben Cousillas said his removal was precautionary but there are fears he may have suffered a recurrence of the problem that kept him out for five games in February.
He was due to undergo a scan after the team returned to Manchester.
Zabaleta said of his countryman: "Hopefully it is nothing serious.
"He will have a scan to see if the hamstring is okay.
"Fingers crossed. We know how important Sergio is for the team and hopefully he can keep fit for the next game."