Manchester City as good as Barcelona and Real Madrid - Mancini

Roberto Mancini
Mancini guided City to the FA Cup last season, their first trophy in 35 years

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini believes his side are on a par with the best teams in Europe.

City are five points clear at the top of the Premier League and will progress to the last 16 of the Champions League if they beat Napoli on Tuesday.

"We started the season very well and this confidence is important for the team," said the Italian.

"I don't think we are better than Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United, but probably we are at the same level."

Owner Sheikh Mansour of Abu Dhabi has spent more than £460m on players since taking over the club in 2008.

City have since qualified for the Champions League and won the FA Cup. After another summer of massive spending which saw Sergio Aguero and Samir Nasri added to the squad, City are unbeaten in the league.

During Sheikh Mansour's City tenure, Barcelona have won three Spanish league titles, a Spanish cup, two Champions League titles, the Fifa World Club Cup, and two European Super Cups.

Their squad includes Lionel Messi, the player regarded as the best in the world, and nine of the 2010 Spain World Cup-winning squad.

These elements and their fluid, attacking style of play has seen them regarded as the best club side in the world.

Despite Mancini comparing City to Barcelona, he insisted his squad does not feel under excessive pressure.

"We know that the season is long and probably we will arrive at a moment when we lose.

"Every three days we have a match at the moment and December and January is going to be a crucial time. Winning then will be really important.

"I hope we continue like this. I'm happy for the players, we've been playing well because of them and, at the moment, we have improved a lot.

"As players, as a team, we are very strong now but the season is long and there will be difficult moments ahead. For this reason, it's important we know we can score goals and win games in a row."

City travel to Liverpool in the Premier League after their midweek trip to Naples, with a Carling Cup quarter-final against Arsenal and league matches against the Gunners and Chelsea to come before Christmas.

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