Despite hardly taking the Europa league by storm this season, Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini is convinced his City team will be able to compete with Europes elite if they qualify for the Champions League next season.
City are currently third in the league and with 11 games left look good for a seat at Europes top table next season.
Despite having not featured in the competition since 1969, Mancini believes his team will be well equipped to deal with everything the Champions League could throw at his team.
Tottenham have given every newcomer hope, taking the tournament by storm this year, and they are well placed to claim a quarter final place next week at White Hart Lane.
Mancini also captained Sampdoria the first time they qualified for the tournament and took them to the final.
“When you play in the Champions League for the first time, maybe you can have problems, but when I played for Sampdoria 20 years ago we got to the final the first time we qualified,” he said.
“In football, never say never – anything can happen. It is clear that we are not like Barcelona, Real Madrid, Milan or Inter, teams that have played in the Champions League for a long time.
“But after this year, if we do well in the Europa League, it will be a good experience and all our players play for their national teams.”
Mancini also agreed with his midfielder Yaya Toure, who earlier this week claimed City could become better than Barcelona in the next couple of years.
“I think we need to work more, but I hope so – why not?” he added.
“We have big possibilities for the future because we are a strong club.”