Tevez Is One Of The Best Â€“ Mancini
Roberto Mancini is adamant only the absence of Champions League action is preventing Carlos Tevez being hailed as one of the best strikers in the world.
The Manchester City star scored a hat-trick against Wigan on Monday to take his goal tally for the season to 25.
It is a pretty good return in his debut City season after making a controversial summer move from Old Trafford and is one of the major reasons why the Blues are still in contention for a top-four slot.
Yet Tevez's name rarely crops up in debates about the world's top players, with the focus more likely to be on Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney.
Having worked at such close quarters, Mancini believes Tevez is worthy of a place in that bracket. However, he accepts the forward needs to be operating at a higher level than at present.
'Carlos compares with any striker,' said Mancini. 'But Rooney plays in the Champions League for Manchester United. Messi plays in the Champions League for Barcelona.
'If Carlos was in the Champions League he would be at the same level because he is one of the best players in the world.'
Tevez has a chance to do something about that, knowing seven wins to the end of the season will secure a Champions League spot for the Blues for the first time since the competition was revamped in 1992.
Indeed, City only played in the European Cup once, a campaign which ended up with a dismal first round exit at the hands of Fenerbahce in 1968.
Given the success United have enjoyed, at home and abroad, over the years, it is little wonder the appetite for some of the same is so great among the City support.
Yet Mancini does not believe it is wise to feel their world will collapse if fourth spot cannot be claimed.