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Mario Balotelli looks revamped in Nice

Friday 7th October 2016
He failed to sparkle at Liverpool and left Merseyside on loan to AC Milan labeled a FLOP! But the former Inter Milan youngster has reenacted his goal-scoring form in France and is looking as sharp as ever!

Few footballers will present you with the sort of drama which Mario Balotelli will. The big Italian is never far from a negative headline every once in a while.

During his time at Inter and Manchester City, Mario Balotelli was involved in so many on-pitch and off the pitch incidents, many of us dubbed him the number one bad boy of football - that title is now Diego Costa's. However, Mario Balotelli seems to have abandoned shenanigans for goal-scoring and it's all thanks to a nice move to Nice.

On 31st of August 2016, Mario Balotelli completed a free transfer to OGC Nice; it ended a period of mockery and lack of football for the 26-year-old Italian. He was snubbed by Jürgen Klopp for Liverpool's pre-season following his return from AC Milan were he was on loan. While he remained clueless, Balotelli was ‘mockingly' offered a short loan stint by Nigerian Premier League outfit Warri Wolves - who messaged ‘Balo' on Twitter asking him to end the season with them in Nigeria.
I was among those who waited with bated breath for Balotelli's reply to that tweet, however he ignored us all and focused on getting back to full fitness. Whatever he did, the hard work is already paying dividends for Mario as we can see with the way he's started his first French League One season.

Nice coach, Lucien Favre decided to take the gamble that most premier league or Italian Serie A managers wouldn't, by signing a player who had not kicked a football in a competitive game for nearly five months. That gamble looks to have paid off as we now see a Balotelli scoring more goals (6) than games (5) for the French outfit.

Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere is quoted as saying on Balotelli's signing:

"We know the risk we are taking, but it's one I take with pleasure"

Balotelli's innate football prowess has never been much of a debate, it's always been as clear as day that the tough looking striker's bane has been his bad attitude both on and off the pitch.  Balotelli knows this, and it looks like the Palermo-born striker is seriously working on his attitude and lifestyle. When asked (after signing for Nice) if he knew the number of nightclubs in Nice or Monaco, Balotelli retorted:

"I do not even want to hear this question. It doesn't interest me.”

Balotelli's career looks to have been finally salvaged in France. The striker has taken the opportunity to be the main man up front at Nice with both hands and seems to be scoring without much effort. His six goals in five games have helped propel Nice to the summit of Ligue 1, one point above Monaco who lie second.


The ‘Super Mario' is looking as hot as ever, he's trying to be a good boy (forget that ‘harsh red card against Lorient last weekend, that has since been rescinded) and best of all he's started the season scoring. Balotelli has also equaled a record in France; he's the first player to score four goals in the first two League One games in 25 years.

I'll be keeping tabs on Mario Balotelli all through the season; one thing is sure, -if he keeps this up, then OGC Nice might, just like in the case of Ben Arfa, completely revamp Mario Balotelli into the world beater we know he can be.
Kingsley Ukpai

Kingsley is a football aficionado who craves to read, watch, play and write about the greatest team sport ever known to man. If you're talking football he'll be keen to listen to what you have to say. Loves to play Fantasy Football too.

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