Mario Balotelli was praised by his Nice coach Lucien Favre after a successful Ligue 1 season in which Balotelli has scored 15 goals for his new French club. Given Balotelli’s reputation for being temperamental, Favre acknowledged that it was unclear early on whether or not Balotelli would last: “It’s clear, we must tell the truth, at the beginning, everyone was asking questions – ‘Will it work?’ It was not easy to bet on that.” Because of the unclear disposition of Balotelli, Favre says that, while he was open to signing Balotelli, they did it because there weren’t many other solutions available. “In the end, it was a very good idea!”, Favre joked after admitting this.
“All in all, he helped Nice. On the marketing side too, we must not deny it,” Favre said of Balotelli’s effect on the team. Balotelli joined Nice after leaving the English Premier League’s Liverpool last year. He did point out that, while the goal scoring has been a great help, Balotelli still needs to work at his temper after already receiving three red cards this season. “In January to February, it was difficult for him… After that, he caught up on other matches. What he lacks is consistency,” Favre made bare in his press conference.
All this praise from his coach comes as Balotelli finds himself near the end of the one-year contract he signed with Nice. He has posted on social media pictures professing his love for the French town where he’s plied his trade for this brief stint, but it’s unclear what direction he’ll take going forward. Following Balotelli’s final game at Nice of this season, he also posted on social media a message that some fans worry may indicate a departure: “Thank you people for all those emotions of this year.. I hope we can be together again.. future will tell..”