Having left their domestic challengers in their slipstream by winning the Premier League title last season, Roberto Mancini claims Manchester City are now close to building the 'Ferrari' to take them to Champions League glory.
Surrounded by the glittering history of nine-time European champions Real Madrid in the Bernabeu Stadium last night, City's Italian manager insisted it is only a matter of time before the riches of owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan drives the club to the European Cup, the ultimate rich man's play-thing.
Madrid manager Jose Mourinho, Mancini's successor at Inter Milan and a Champions League winner with Porto and the Italian giants, echoed the City manager's belief that Manchester will, sooner or later, emulate Milan as the only city to claim two European Cup winners.
"If you drive a Ferrari you can win, if you drive a Fiat Cinquecento, maybe not," Mancini said. "We now have a good team and we have played together for a few years, so I am sure we will win the (Champions League) trophy in the future.
"I don't know when, but at some stage, yes, the club will win it.
"It is very important to do well in Champions League for the club and the players, for me personally, it is not important, it is important to the club. I am (the) manager and it is clear that I want to do well, but we have to work hard and do well in a lot of things."
Mancini cited a lack of experience for the team's failure 12 months ago: "As a team, we don't have the same experience as Bayern or Real in the Champions League. We played very well in the first 30 minutes against Bayern, but if you don't score, it can be difficult and Madrid will be the same." (© Daily Telegraph, London)