Pep Guardiola’s men have their sights set on a historic treble as they challenge for the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup in what could be a remarkable season.
Next month, City will also face Manchester rivals United in a mouth-watering FA Cup final at Wembley.
Rooney admits he is in awe of the current City team and also concedes that United’s outstanding 2007-08 side would almost certainly have struggled to beat them.
Despite that, Rooney still believes three of his old teammates would have fitted in well to the current City side, along with himself.
“Could the 2008 Manchester United team have competed with Man City? Head to head, we’d have had a good chance but over a 38-game season they would have had the edge,’ Rooney told The Times.
“I think we’d have been similar to Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, able to beat them in one-off games but usually just a bit behind them in the final league table.
“There were players in our team who would have got into this City side. Paul Scholes would have been perfect, Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic too.
City on the brink of greatness
Rooney also believes this City team will go down as one of the best in Premier League history, if they clinch an historic treble.
He added: “If they win the Champions League and the title, much as it pains me, I think you’d have to put City up there with United’s 1999 treble winners as the best Premier League team of all time.
“Our 2008 United team were also a great side but the way City dominate opponents and make it look so easy, so often – while constantly fighting on all fronts – is beyond what we did.
“Of course, City have won nothing yet this season and still have to get over the line so let’s leave the big judgments until they do.
“But my reason for saying that they have the potential to be up there with the greatest is that another Premier League title would be their fifth in six seasons and they have raised the bar for everyone else.
“All United fans, myself included, have to look at what Guardiola’s City are doing and understand the extraordinary level that our club will have to reach to be No 1 again.”
United are back in action on Saturday when they host Wolves at Old Trafford, while City head to Everton on Sunday after their date with Real.
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