The two Manchester clubs fought each other tooth and nail for the Premier League title last season, but they appear to be less hostile off the pitch.
Speaking on Manchester City’s Champions DVD, chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak has stated that rivals Manchester United are still the ones City should aim to emulate in the future.
Given that United have dominated English football over the past two decades, Al Mubarak insists that despite being champions, City must still aim for the benchmark set by their neighbours.
Al Mubarak said: “What they [United] have accomplished in the last 20 years is incredible and 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.”
Al Mubarak’s comments echo those by United boss Sir Alex Ferguson at the end of last season, when he congratulated City on their achievement.
Speaking to the BBC, Ferguson said: “On behalf of everyone at Manchester United, I congratulate Manchester City on winning the league.
“It’s not an easy league to win, the Premier division, so anyone who wins it, deserves it, as it’s a long haul.”
Al Mubarek also insisted that the rivalry between the two clubs is good for the city of Manchester, something that supporters of both clubs should take pride in.
He said: “There aren't many cities around the world who have two clubs with the strength that United and City have.
“It's incredible for the city of Manchester and I think there's going to be a wonderful competition between us for many years to come.”
United Legend Denis Law – the King of the Stretford End – concurs with Al Mubarak regarding City’s resurgence being good for Manchester as a whole, increasing the global awareness and popularity of the city.
Speaking to BBC Radio Manchester, Law said: “Manchester has two world-class teams now and the way that they're going, they'll have plenty of success.
“We've got two [world-class teams] in the city of Manchester, so we're known throughout the world.”