Whilst City do not possess Inter's history, which includes 18 Scudettos and three European Cups, they have spent a long time in the shadow of a major city rival. Inter won a single Serie A title and three UEFA Cups between 1982 and 2005, a period in which AC Milan won seven championships times and celebrated four Champions League triumphs.
Mancini said: "Before I arrived at Inter, they didn't win for 19 years. For Inter this was very difficult because Milan won a lot of trophies. It is the same situation here."
He added: "It is clear Manchester City doesn't have Inter's history but they have also started to build a new team, a strong team and has got to the same level as the other one."
Mancini's men have already inflicted some pretty hefty damage in the two years he has been around.
Last season's FA Cup semi-final win over Manchester United was seismic in that it paved the way for the club's first silverware in 35 years.
And then in October came that staggering 6-1 triumph at Old Trafford that sent shockwaves around the world.
Yet, although his club's supporters may bridle at the suggestion, Mancini still concedes his team are inferior.
"Manchester United are the best team in England," he said.
"Maybe not now because they have six or seven important players injured. But they have a strong team with a strong mentality and they are at the top."