Sturridge was named City's young player of the season in May 2009, but by then he had already decided to allow his contract to expire and subsequently signed for Chelsea.
"I went into the first team when the influx of money came in (from Shinawatra) and they had a lot of strikers coming in," said the England international, who faces City at the Etihad Stadium today.
"When the new owners (Sheikh Mansour) came in they started spending more money and so for me it was always going to be difficult.
"People said I was greedy to sign for Chelsea and leave City but they (City) are the richest club in the world, so why I am being greedy going to a club with less money?
"When I moved to Chelsea it was again difficult with (Didier) Drogba and (Nicolas) Anelka there. I knew I wouldn't play every week but I knew I would learn from both players.
"I think I've not had an opportunity to show what I can do but I am delighted with how everything went at both clubs. I won some trophies with Chelsea, won the Youth Cup with City which will always be with me for the rest for my life.
"I had some great friendships there, so I'd like to thank them for bringing me to where I am today - the Academy people at City were fantastic."