Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak has admitted that Manchester United still 'set the benchmark' and he knows his club must continue to fight to achieve some of their neighbours' success.
City won last season's Premier League title on goal difference as Sergio Aguero struck a stoppage-time winner against Queens Park Rangers on a dramatic final day.
The victory ended a 44-year-wait for a league crown, but Al Mubarak insists City must now strive to push on and emulate what United have achieved over a longer period of time.
"United have set the benchmark," he said, in an interview on City's Champions DVD.
"What they have accomplished in the last 20 years is incredible. It sets the benchmark for any club in the world in terms of success. We all have the highest respect for Sir Alex, we all have the highest respect for United as a team and what they have accomplished.
"We look at teams like Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United, AC Milan and Bayern Munich. What they represent to their cities, to their communities, what they've accomplished, these teams are the benchmarks."
Al Mubarak accepts that United were unlucky to miss out on top spot last term after performing so well over the course of the season, and knows City must improve if they are to defend their title.
"To get 89 points and not win the league is unbelievable," he said.
"This is the most difficult league in the world, there's no question in my mind. It's the most challenging, the most difficult league to win. For us to pick up 89 points and not win would have been criminal.
"We have to continue to fight. We have to continue to work hard and focus on the future and really try to achieve some of what Manchester United has been able to accomplish in the past.
"We always want to improve and get better and compete at all levels of competition."
Al Mubarak expects City and United to continue dominating English football for the foreseeable future, and he says that is something everyone in Manchester should be proud of.
"It's incredible for the city of Manchester," he said.
"There aren't many cities around the world who have two clubs with the strength that United and City have.
"I think there's going to be a wonderful competition between us for many years to come."