Mario Balotelli: ‘If didn’t have problems with Patrick Vieira, I would never have left Nice’

In an interview, with SO Foot, Mario Balotelli (33) has reflected on his departure from OGC Nice, with the Italian forward blaming his working relationship with manager Patrick Vieira for his decision to quit the club midseason. 

Balotelli joined Le Gym from Liverpool in 2016 and spent two and a half seasons with the club before terminating his contract midseason and joining Olympique de Marseille for the remainder of the 2018/19 season. 

Despite a career defined by oscillating highs and lows at a whole host of clubs, in Nice Balotelli found some consistency under manager Lucien Favre. The manager’s two seasons there saw the striker notch a 15-goal and then a career-high 18-goal league campaign. 

However, his game time and his usage under Patrick Vieira meant that tally was never close to being matched in what would have been his third full season at the club. Despite, how his time in Nice ended, the forward remains fond of his time there. 

As he explains to SO Foot, “I lived in Villefranche, and it was crazy. I had a smile every day, I went to the sea every day. A dream life.” He continues, “The problem was that the way Vieira played didn’t really suit me. I got along well with him, but sportingly, I didn’t agree. If I hadn’t had these problems with him, I would never have left Nice.” 

GFFN | Nick Hartland

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