The Italy international endured a frustrating
week in France but found time to praise a
couple of Premier League stars, despite the
colours they wear
The last seven days must have been frustrating
for Mario Balotelli.
Last weekend he was part of the Nice squad
that fell to a derby defeat at the hands of
Monaco, and has since had little chance to
On Wednesday, he was given a breather by
head coach Lucien Favre as the Ligue 1
hopefuls bounced back with a 1-0 home
success over Saint-Etienne.
If the striker looked fired up before the match,
he was left kicking his heels on the bench for
much of the encounter, in which the Allianz
Riviera side rediscovered their best form.
Wylan Cyprien scored the game’s only goal –
and Balotelli was full of admiration for the
manner in which his colleague dispatched a
long-range shot into the goal.
The response of the media to the Italian’s place
among the substitutes was to try and drum up a
story about his supposed attitude issues.
Although Valentin Eysseric suggested that
Balotelli is not the ultimate team player, they
were taken a little out of context as he argued
his colleague was simply too much of a
“perfectionist, as opposed to selfish.
“We see him every day in training – we know
he’s a great player,” the midfielder reaffirmed
on Sunday. “He’s really at a level above us. He
knows how to be decisive.”
The former Saint-Etienne player was speaking
after a 2-2 draw in Rennes, which was missed
by the Italian due to a fever. Nice fought back
from two goals down to salvage a good point in
that clash which left them five points back from
As a result of a busy week, and a minor illness,
Balotelli has been unable to get up to much by
way of hijinks, although he has been hanging out
with his younger brother, Enock Barwuah, a fair
bit. He is also a footballer, playing in Serie D for
His thoughts have also been on Manchester,
where he was pleased to see young attacker
Gabriel Jesus shine, offering him some advice
in relationships in the process.
Perhaps most interestingly for City fans, though,
was that he admitted that he “misses” their