Roberto Mancini believes Manchester City are developing all the time and can one day win the UEFA Champions League.
City begin their second successive season in the continent's elite competition as the English champions, having continued their remarkable recent progress by winning the Premier League last May.
That came after FA Cup success in 2011 brought the club a first trophy in 35 years, but while Europe might seem the next logical target, Mancini is setting no bold targets for this particular season.
He regards winning the Champions League as a long-term goal, and is focused only on improving this season after being drawn in another difficult group.
Speaking at the Bernabeu ahead of his side's mouth-watering Group D opener against Real Madrid on Tuesday, Mancini said: "If you drive a Ferrari you can win, if you drive a Fiat Cinquecento, probably not.
"In the past we have been working for this. I think we beat good teams but we have played together for two years and we needed time.
"I am sure we will arrive to win this trophy in the future. I do not know when, but I am sure because we are working for this.
"If we want to improve every year it is possible."
City failed to progress beyond the group stage last season having been given a tough draw against Bayern Munich, Napoli and Villarreal.
This year the assignment is even tougher with the champions of Holland and Germany, Ajax and Borussia Dortmund respectively, also lying in wait as well as nine-time European champions Real.
Mancini said: "I think it was a good experience last year - we did a good group but it was not enough.
"I think the group will be stronger this year but it will be difficult for all the teams.
"I think it is important now that we go to the second stage. After February anything can happen, but now it is difficult to say what we can do."