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By ESPN Staff

Toure plays down Barca comparison

Yaya Toure feels Manchester City remain a long way behind his former club Barcelona despite having the tools to excel in the Champions League.

The Premier League leaders have ambitions to dominate at home and in Europe and some of their free-scoring attacking football this season has drawn comparisons with Barca. But City midfielder Toure, who won the Champions League with the Catalans in 2009, does not think his current club are at the same level yet.

The Ivory Coast international said: ''It is a big difference because Barcelona have been a big team for a long time. 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, we have the winning mentality. The mood is very important. We need to win something this year and we have to have a good 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, 28, struck twice as City enhanced their hopes of progressing to the Champions League knockout stages with a 3-0 win at Villarreal on Wednesday.

When asked how far he thought they could go, he said: ''As far as possible. 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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