City beat Tottenham 1-0 at Eastlands to guarantee them a top-four finish, as well as ensuring that Stoke will earn a Europa League place.
Spurs had won this fixture last season courtesy of a Peter Crouch goal, but the England striker was the villain on Tuesday night as he put through his own net to hand Roberto Mancini's side a place at European football's top table.
An overjoyed Hart told Sky Sports 1: "It means the world.
"We are the players and we are employed to give performances and get results and regardless of the money spent by the club, we are a team and we have shown that.
"If you watched the Champions League this season, Spurs have done brilliantly and it's a shame for them that they can't be there again as they brought something to it.
"But trips to Real Madrid, AC Milan and Inter Milan, what more can you ask for?
"We now need a trophy and that is this Saturday. We got this tonight and we now need to give these fans a trophy."
Captain Vincent Kompany now wants his side to try to overhaul Arsenal for third place, to ensure they would be able to avoid the qualifying rounds.
He said: "It doesn't mean we are in the Champions League, we would have to qualify so why not get Arsenal? We feel they may drop points and we think we can get six points."
Manager Roberto Mancini took the opportunity to pay tribute to his players.
"Congratulations to the players, they did a fantastic season," he said. "I am sure all our people are very happy as we worked very hard for this and I am happy for the supporters."
Spurs boss Harry Redknapp praised the performance of his men, and pledged they will be looking to regain a Champions League spot next term.
He told Sky Sports 1: "We have had Champions League this year for the first time since the Premier League started but you need to keep improving and we had a bad run at the wrong time, we had too many draws.
"But I take a lot of pride out of the season. I enjoy watching us play and that's the biggest thing for me.
"We had control of that game for large periods tonight and we will tweak things in the summer and try and get back in the Champions League."