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The Italian finds his team sitting top of the Premier League head of Sunday's clash with second placed United, but found time to praise the highly-decorated Scottish manager.

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini praised Manchester United legendary boss Sir Alex Ferguson, admitting that he sees the Scot as a "teacher."

City, which currently leads the Premier League, faces its arch cross-town rival on Sunday with Mancini seeking a first league victory over Ferguson’s charges.

The Italian said he admires what his managerial counterpart has done for the Red Devils in his illustrious career, which has stretched over a quarter of a century.

"He is a teacher and I learn from him," Mancini told reporters ahead of Sunday’s clash. "I can say thank you to him because I have big respect for him - he won everything for 25 years. He wants to continue to win and that's important for me and all young managers."

Especially impressive to Mancini is Ferguson's longevity.

"He's 69, and after 69 years he is there every day concentrating and I think it's difficult at that age to have the same strength every day, want to win every game, want to work every day," the former Inter boss said. "It's not easy after 50 years because he started very young.

"I hope I can do the same but it won't be easy."
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