Malky Mackay spoke of both his and Cardiff's lofty ambitions having this afternoon been unveiled as the new manager of the npower Championship club.
The Scot has agreed a three-year deal in the Welsh capital, just 24 hours after being given permission to hold talks by a reluctant Watford board who at first rejected an official approach from the Bluebirds.
Cardiff have had to pay an undisclosed fee to his former Hertfordshire employers, for whom Mackay only signed a new three-and-a-half-year contract in March.
Speaking at his unveiling, broadcast live on Sky Sports News, Mackay said: "I see a club with massive ambition, an infrastructure that is exciting, a beautiful stadium, great training facilities and a club that wants to go places.
"I know the division and I know the type of players we want.
"Everyone goes into the race to win it and we will be one of the clubs trying to win it.
"Cardiff are a team that have done very well over the last few years. Two play-offs and a Wembley final appearance can't be criticised.
"It's well documented the finances we've been working under at Watford. Watford over the last couple of years have fought hard under the restrictions. But coming here gives me an opportunity to challenge at the top of the table."
Mackay succeeds Dave Jones, who was sacked two and a half weeks ago with Cardiff having suffered play-off disappointment for the second successive season.
The 39-year-old had long been linked with the vacancy, along with Chris Hughton and Roberto Di Matteo, while former Newcastle and England striker Alan Shearer revealed earlier this week he had held "unsuccessful" talks.
City's pursuit of Mackay started to gather pace on Wednesday when Watford rejected an official approach, with new owner Laurence Bassini stating "we will do everything in our power to keep him at Vicarage Road".
But Mackay yesterday requested to speak to the Welsh club and Watford's hierarchy were forced to reluctantly agree, paving the way for today's announcement.
The Hornets tonight wished Mackay well and immediately turned their attention towards finding his successor.
A statement from Bassini on the club's official website read: "Cardiff City has now confirmed Malky Mackay as its new manager - and he leaves with the best wishes of the Hornets' leadership team.
"It means Watford FC is entering a period of time at the end of which the club will announce who will succeed Mackay as manager of Watford Football Club.
"I can't hide the fact I'm disappointed to see Malky leave.
"I do, however, wish him the very best of luck and every success for the future as he begins work at his new club."