Monday 30 April 2012
Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini says winning the Barclays Premier League would be the "biggest achievement" of his career.
City host Manchester United on Monday night, trailing their neighbours and title rivals by three points with three matches to go.
Mancini's side has a superior goal difference to United, so victory on Monday would put them top and leave the destiny of the title in their hands.
"It is the best championship in Europe"
- Roberto Mancini
"If we beat United to the title, it would be the biggest achievement of my career because it is England, it is the best championship in Europe," he said.
"For an Italian manager to win the Premier League would make it better than anything else I have done in the game.”
Manchester City last won the title in the 1967/68 season and Mancini said he was aware of how important silverware was to the club's fans.
"Winning trophies is important everywhere, whether it is Barcelona, Real Madrid or Manchester City," he said.
"But when you win with a club like City you change history as well and that would give me a greater sense of satisfaction.
"For over 40 years they haven’t won the league, so if we can do it, it will be better than at a club that’s used to winning titles.
"One of the things that attracted me to City was the chance to change their history."
"This has always been the way in my football life – I like a challenge.
"Some managers go to a club that’s already set up to win because it has top players.
"For me it’s different. I’ve always gone to clubs who haven’t won anything for a long time.
"This is the derby game of all derby games"
- Sir Alex Ferguson
"It’s important that we don’t win just one championship. I want to leave a legacy.
"I want all the City supporters to remember me for winning many trophies and because I’ve worked well here."
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said he was under no illusions about the magnitude of Monday's match.
"This is the derby game of all derby games," he said.
"It is our city rivals and that makes everyone step up a notch in terms of anticipation.
"Our fans will look upon it as a special one."
Ferguson added: "It means everything to the fans and I think going into work on Tuesday morning will be the most important day of their lives for both sets of supporters.
"People are brought up through their grandfathers, their great grandfathers, their grandmothers to be what they are. You can't change a family's traits.
"It is steeped in the blood of these supporters and they will give everything to win this game on Monday."
Manchester City enjoyed an astonishing 6-1 win at Old Trafford in the reverse fixture in October 2011, but Ferguson said the stakes were much higher in Monday's match.
"If they beat us, I think they will probably go on to win the title," he said.
"If we draw we'll be strong favourites but we will be trying to win."
30 April - Man City (A)
6 May - Swansea (H)
13 May - Sunderland (A)
30 April - Man Utd (H)
6 May - Newcastle (A)
13 May - QPR (H)