‘Joining Liverpool was worst decision’

15 Sep

Mario Balotelli scores his first goal for Nice from the penalty spot


Mario Balotelli scores his first goal for Nice from the penalty spot

Nice striker Mario Balotelli says joining Liverpool was the “worst decision of my life”.

The Italian scored four goals in 28 appearances for the Reds after arriving for £16m from AC Milan in 2014.

He managed one goal in 20 Serie A games on loan at Milan last season before a free transfer to Nice this summer.

“Apart from the fans, who were fantastic, and some players who I got on really well with, I didn’t like the club,” Balotelli told Canal Plus.

The 26-year-old was speaking before scoring twice on his Nice debut in the 3-2 Ligue 1 win over Marseille on Sunday.

Brendan Rodgers, who signed Balotelli, was sacked as Liverpool manager in October 2015, with Jurgen Klopp taking over.

“I had two coaches, with Rodgers and Klopp for a short time, but neither their methods nor their personality left me with a good impression,” he said.

“I never really felt right there.”

‘I can still win the Ballon d’Or’

In an interview with former France, Leeds and Roma midfielder Olivier Dacourt, Balotelli was asked if he still thought about winning the Ballon d’Or.

“Of course. It’s not too late,” he said. “I think I could have already won it by now, but by working hard in training I could still win it in the next two or three years.”

In Sunday’s home game, Balotelli was goaded by Marseille’s Bafetimbi Gomis as he prepared to take a penalty, but kept his cool to score the opener.

Florian Thauvin, on loan from Newcastle, equalised before ex-Swansea striker Gomis put Marseille in front from the spot.

Balotelli headed home before Wylan Cyprien’s long-range winner.

Victory lifted Nice into second in the table, behind leaders Monaco on goal difference, with champions Paris St-Germain in seventh.

Live Text

Match ends, Nice 3, Marseille 2.

Second Half ends, Nice 3, Marseille 2.

Corner, Nice. Conceded by Hiroki Sakai.

Mario Balotelli (Nice) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Clinton N’Jie (Marseille).

Substitution, Marseille. Saif-Eddine Khaoui replaces Karim Rekik.

Foul by Younès Belhanda (Nice).

Karim Rekik (Marseille) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt blocked. Clinton N’Jie (Marseille) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Goal! Nice 3, Marseille 2. Wylan Cyprien (Nice) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Younès Belhanda.

Zinedine Machach (Marseille) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Valentin Eysseric (Nice) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Zinedine Machach (Marseille).

Ricardo Pereira (Nice) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Ricardo Pereira (Nice).

Bouna Sarr (Marseille) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Corner, Nice. Conceded by Hiroki Sakai.

Corner, Nice. Conceded by Hiroki Sakai.

Attempt blocked. Wylan Cyprien (Nice) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jean Michael Seri.

Attempt saved. Bouna Sarr (Marseille) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Andre Zambo Anguissa.

Attempt missed. Zinedine Machach (Marseille) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right following a corner.

Tomas Hubocan (Marseille) hits the bar with a header from the right side of the six yard box. Assisted by Florian Thauvin with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Marseille. Conceded by Malang Sarr.

Goal! Nice 2, Marseille 2. Mario Balotelli (Nice) header from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Ricardo Pereira with a cross.

Substitution, Nice. Younès Belhanda replaces Dalbert.

Substitution, Nice. Valentin Eysseric replaces Alassane Pléa.

Foul by Vincent Koziello (Nice).

Clinton N’Jie (Marseille) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Goal! Nice 1, Marseille 2. Bafétimbi Gomis (Marseille) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the high centre of the goal.

Vincent Koziello (Nice) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Penalty conceded by Vincent Koziello (Nice) after a foul in the penalty area.

Penalty Marseille. Bouna Sarr draws a foul in the penalty area.

Attempt blocked. Mario Balotelli (Nice) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Ricardo Pereira.

Attempt blocked. Wylan Cyprien (Nice) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Ricardo Pereira.

Attempt blocked. Ricardo Pereira (Nice) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Substitution, Marseille. Clinton N’Jie replaces William Vainqueur.

Doria (Marseille) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Alassane Pléa (Nice) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Doria (Marseille).

Attempt saved. Wylan Cyprien (Nice) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Jean Michael Seri.

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