The Italian guided the current champions to their first Premier League title in the 2011-12 season, but was fired following their defeat in the FA Cup final a year later.
The 49-year-old told reporters: "I think that we started to build this team five years ago. In two years we won the Premier League, the FA Cup, we won everything in England.
"And this current team are playing nine of my players all of the time. I am very happy with that because I know these players. I think it's not easy to build a strong team with only four or five years.
"They are a team like Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Barcelona, big teams that have been like that for 50 years. You need the time to improve. But we have a big chance also to be one of the best teams in Europe."
City are currently second in the Premier League table, five points behind leaders Chelsea.