Is Mario Balotelli relaunching his career? Again…
The Italian starlet’s numbers have improved quite drastically ever since Mario Balotelli left Nice in the winter on mutual acord, to sign for Marseille as a free agent. After Lucien Favre’s departure to Borussia Dortmund and his replacement with ex French international Patrick Vieira, Mario’s former teammate at Inter Milan and Manchester City, things have started to fall apart for the Italian. That was coming after, maybe his best season ever, at least number-wise, as the ace did manage a personal record of 26 goals netted in all competitions (Ligue 1 and Europa League), and the summer had quite a couple of transfer offers from a lot of teams, with Olympique Marseille showing the most proeminent interest in the Italian striker despite denying these claims when the subject was pushed on. Eventually, every offer for a transfer subsequently failed and Balotelli decided to stay at Nice last summer, however, the uncertainty of whatever he was going to play for them again or not made the Italian not too eager to come at the first training session with the club. Which sparked the conflict with Vieira, some sort of a Cote d’Azur version of the war between Jose Mourinho and Paul Pogba at Manchester United, with each of the two throwing jabs at each other. Vieira even admitted that he would “slam him up against the wall or leave him hanging by his collar on the coat rack”, and has been visibly sidelining Balotelli, making him a substitute. In the first half of the championship, Super Mario only saw 10 league appearances without any goal scored, as, per se, a result of his conflict with Vieira.
Ultimately, the ex Inter, Milan, City and Liverpool striker was eventually released by Nice this winter and signed a 6 months contract with Marseille, with the option of an eventual contract expansion depending strictly on Balotelli’s performances in the second half of the season. After all, with a moody player like Mario Balotelli, anyone would think of getting some security measures before digging into some experience both the player and the club might regret at the end of the day. Just like it happened with every club Balotelli played for. Well, apart from Lumezzane, who were too weak for him, but that’s another story. The thing is, Balotelli is proving his worth now. Ever since his transfer to Marseille, he has scored 7 goals in 9 matches, and all in Ligue 1, thus showing that he’s not done yet despite the first half of the season seemingly about to bring the end of the Italian’s professional career. Even though, frankly speaking, Balotelli had really made a move for the better that time. And not only in terms of playtime and such things, but also considering the fact that Marseille is a bigger team that Nice will ever be. I mean, the only team in France who has ever won an European Cup, and one of the teams with the most league titles.
The thing is, now Balotelli has an open door to expand his contract with Marseille. As for transfering to a better team, I don’t think that will occur anymore. The only team Balotelli would play for, in Italy at least, is Napoli, and Carlo Ancelotti doesn’t seem the kind of coach to properly deal with a troublemaker.