Yaya Toure is confident that Manchester City can go far in this season's UEFA Champions League, but stressed that it will be some time before they can match the likes of his former club Barcelona.
The 28-year-old midfielder won Europe's top-tier competition with the Catalan giants in 2009 before moving to the Etihad stadium last summer.
After capping his return to Spain with two goals in City's 3-0 victory over Villarreal on Wednesday evening, Toure has made no secret of his ambition to dominate on both the domestic and European stage, with the Citizens' free-scoring football having already drawn comparisons with Barca.
"It is a big difference because Barcelona have been a big team for a long time," said the Ivorian international. "In Manchester, to be like them we have to win some Premier Leagues, some Champions Leagues. They are a top team in the world.
"We have a long way to go and we have to continue to improve. But I think the mentality is fantastic now. The mood is very important. We need to win something this year and we have to have a good, winning mentality.
"I think the team is improving and everyone is enjoying themselves on the pitch. Everyone is happy. If we continue like that I think this year will be fantastic."
Toure emphasised the importance of keeping that winning feeling, in order for Roberto Mancini's side to remain on course of establishing themselves amongst Europe's elite.
Their latest victory has significantly improved the club's chances of reaching the knockout stages of the Champions League, and Toure has set his signts on a prolonged run in the competition.
"As far as possible," was his response to how far City can go this year. "But it is early to speak like that and we have a lot of respect for the big teams there.
"We have a lot of respect for Barcelona, Real Madrid, [Manchester] United, Chelsea - they are always in the Champions League. They have had good experiences.
"It is only the first time we have been in the Champions League and the most important thing for us to go as far as possible is we continue to work."
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