Patrice Evra has stoked the derby rivalry by announcing Manchester City's Premier League title win does not make them a better team than Manchester United.
The French full-back was a member of the United squad who lost the race for the top-flight trophy on a phenomenally dramatic final day of last season.
But Sir Alex Ferguson's men licked their wounds over the summer, improved their squad and currently sit at the top of the table and two points clear of City.
And Evra, who is preparing for international duty against Italy on Wednesday night, when he could face City's Mario Balotelli, thinks United's derby rivals will always be inferior.
With United due to visit City on 9th December, the defender told French media: "I know Mario very well.
"But I don't know if we could talk about rivalry between both Manchester clubs, because we have always been superior to Manchester City.
"And even if they won the national title last season, that won't change anything."
Meanwhile, Evra is determined to finish his France career on a high as he looks ahead to the 2014 World Cup.
The 31-year-old was one of the players banned by the French Football Federation in the wake of their 2010 World Cup shame.
And Evra was then left as an unused substitute by former France boss Laurent Blanc as they were knocked out of Euro 2012 by Spain.
He said: "Above all, I want to win a trophy with my country. Terminating my career without a trophy with the national team would be a failure to me."