Manchester City may have had the upper hand over Manchester United domestically in recent seasons, but they will never usurp the Red Devils as the biggest club in the world, according to Peter Schmeichel.
United won the FA Cup last season, but have struggled to replicate the dominance of the Alex Ferguson era since the legendary Scot's retirement at the end of the 2012-13 campaign.
The past three seasons have seen United finish seventh, fourth and fifth, placing below City - who last won the title in 2014 - on each occasion.
But Schmeichel, who made 398 appearances for United and enjoyed a brief spell in the blue half of Manchester, believes there is little contest when it comes to global standing.
"There's no doubt, nobody can argue that Manchester United is not the biggest club in the world. It is," he told Omnisport ahead of this weekend's Manchester derby at Old Trafford, when both sides will put their 100 per cent records on the line.
"It's the club with the most fans, supporters and there are numbers out there which are official numbers so you can't argue that.
"But is it the best club in the world? It hasn't been for three years, it hasn't been even anywhere near the best club in England. Manchester City have been there or thereabouts.
"This is something you learn as soon as you walk through the doors at Old Trafford that you're never better than your last performance. You always have to improve on your last performance.
"When you look at the last three years it has been very, very poor. Seventh, fourth and fifth - that's not Manchester United. But Manchester City has been there or thereabouts so you can argue that they are the bigger club in Manchester at the moment in terms of results.
"But in terms of popularity they've got no chance of being anywhere near the biggest in the world."
Peter Schmeichel was speaking on behalf of Nabufit. Available on Google Play and the App Store.