Gareth Barry accepts Liverpool are a team with history -- but feels that Manchester City are the ones with the brightest future.
The prelude to what turned out to be a pretty awful encounter at Eastlands on Sunday was peppered with comments from the Liverpool camp playing down City's growing prominence, Dirk Kuyt among those pointing to the Reds' massive trophy haul and claiming the Blues did not have enough money to buy that.
As someone who came close to joining the Anfield outfit 12 months before he finally left Aston Villa for City, Barry is acutely aware of Liverpool's feats of yesteryear.
But after matching them in an admittedly sterile encounter, Barry's belief about what will happen next has only been reinforced.
"The statement was true," said the 29-year-old. "You can't buy history.
"But they are talking about history, I am talking about the future.
"I saw Manchester City reaching those heights when I was here rather than going the opposite way. I believe this club is going in the right direction and I want to be a part of it."
Barry expects to be part of Roberto Mancini's line-up for tomorrow's FA Cup fifth-round replay at Stoke.
The winners visit Chelsea in the quarter-finals, the same place the Blues are hopeful Carlos Tevez will be at the weekend following the premature birth of his daughter in Argentina. The forward's adviser, Kia Joorabchian, said: "When these things happen you have to deal with them and obviously he is having to go through a very difficult period."