Vincent Kompany says Manchester City should not have to successfully defend the title to be remembered as one of the Premier League's all-time greats.
City won the league with 100 points last season, setting a number of records along the way, including for most points, most wins and most goals.
At the time it was suggested that that would not be sufficient to earn themselves a place in the conversation alongside former champions such as Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United, Jose Mourinho's Chelsea and Arsene Wenger's Arsenal, although the latter did not retain the title after their unbeaten season.
City could become the first team in a decade to capture back-to-back league crowns but look set to have to fight Liverpool all the way if they are to do so.
And while Kompany clearly believes his side have what it takes to go all the way, he stresses that even if they do not, it does not take the shine off last season's achievements, or even what they have done so far this campaign.
"No, I think it's just two different things," he said when asked if only a successful title bid would make them all-time greats. "It depends who you listen to. Reaching 100 points - good luck to anyone who wants to do it over again. That stands in isolation as an incredible achievement.
"You can't know until we've passed the time and we've played. We're playing as well as we can, nothing is going to take away from that. If Liverpool ends up being even better than us then that's credit to Liverpool. It can't be something that we've done wrong in this case, not with the amount of points we've got at this point and the way we've played so far and with the way we've approached every game.
"I think we're doing as good as a team can do but sometimes, if you want to talk about having back-to-back seasons, I'm sure that not a lot of teams had to face the sort of opposition we have now with Liverpool. Liverpool are having the best season I've ever known them to have since I've been following the Premier League so it's a strong team and we just need to raise our level every time."
The 32-year-old was asked whether he prefers to be top all the way, as City were last season, or chasing down the leaders, as they did for their two previous Premier League victories, but he says the competition within the squad is just as fierce as the battle with Liverpool.
"I think we compete with ourselves to reach a standard and to even make the pitch sometimes because its such a big squad.
"It's difficult because there's still so much to play for this season. It's really difficult to say, 'Okay let's just focus on the league or just the Champions League or the FA Cup - everything kind of blends into one big competition. But ticking those games off time after time that's really the mindset."
Kompany is out of contract at the end of the season and will have a testimonial at the start of next season, and Goal understands he is ready to sign a new one-year contract at the club.
Pep Guardiola said on Friday that the Belgian's fitness record would not determine whether or not he gets a new deal, but when the City captain was asked about the possibility on Saturday he had no interest in discussing the topic.
"There's four competitions and I couldn't care less about anything other than winning games at the moment. It has to be about that. When you've been 11 years at the club, you're pretty relaxed about the situation."