City return to the Champions League looking to get their campaign off to a perfect start after failing to make it out of the group stages last season.
The Premier League champions’ European credentials pale in comparison to those of their illustrious opponents, but Mancini sees no reason why his team should be overawed by the nine-time winners.
“Our mentality is not to go there - to Madrid or anywhere - for a draw, or to lose. We want to win always,” the City manager said. “But we know it will be a tough game.
“I think it will be a fantastic game, and a fantastic moment for everyone at the club.
“But when you play Champions League, every team is a top team, every game is difficult. If you play against Real or Barca, you are up against 100 years of history, they won everything. For this reason, I also think it will be difficult.”
Real’s chief threat is former Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored an astonishing 60 goals last season. Yet Mancini is wary of focusing too much on the $132 million man.
“Madrid don’t have only Ronaldo. Ronaldo is, with (Lionel) Messi, the best player in the world but they have 15, 16, 18 players at the top,” he added. Meanwhile, one of City’s own strike weapons, striker Sergio Aguero, could be a shock inclusion in tonight’s line-up following a month out with a knee injury.
Midfielder Gareth Barry is also in contention after appearing for the first time this season as a substitute in Saturday’s league draw at Stoke.
And the Citizens received a further boost yesterday as Spanish midfielder David Silva agreed to a new five-year contract with the club. Silva’s extention runs until the summer of 2017.