Roberto Mancini, the Manchester City manager, believes Carlos Tevez is "destined to score the most important goal in the history of this club" as his side prepares to meet Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium tonight for the game which could prove pivotal to a shifting in the balance of power in the city and British football.
Mancini said that beating United to the title would be the biggest achievement of his career – "three ifs," he added, qualifying that statement – and also revealed his public air of confidence is back by declaring that clinching the title would brook no argument about whom the elite side in Manchester would be.
"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," Mancini said. "And for an Italian manager to win the Premier League would make it better than anything else I have done in the game. If you win the title there can be no debate about who is the No 1 team in Manchester for this year at least – but United have a fantastic history and it is impossible to change that. For us, our targets should be to match the achievements of United, Barcelona and Real Madrid in the future."
The significance of defeat for both managers means that Sir Alex Ferguson may well select Ji-sung Park in a packed United midfield tonight, with Nigel de Jong under serious consideration for a more defensively organised City. Mancini agreed that Sir Alex Ferguson had been forced to take City more seriously, having mocked them and the stadium he once called "the Temple of Doom" in the past. "It's normal but not the last two years. Now he takes us more seriously."
Tevez, who has played 99 times for United and 100 for City, somehow seems fated to deliver a parting shot, after a relationship with Manchester which has delivered two titles and a European Cup with United, an FA Cup as City captain and disputes with both of tonight's managers.
"It is important that we don't win just one championship," said Mancini. "I want to leave a legacy."Reuse content