Mario Balotelli was off the pitch for a very bizarre reason as Napoli scored against Nice

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Mario Balotelli's football career has been one littered with incidents, from setting off fireworks in his bathroom, to getting substituted because he tried and failed to score a back heel goal in a pre-season friendly.

The enigmatic Italian striker is now at French side Nice, where he has enjoyed something of a renaissance in 2016/17 as his goals helped guide the south coast club to Champions League qualification.

In the qualifying round, Balotelli's team were drawn against Napoli, perhaps the hardest side available, even more so than Liverpool.


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In Naples, the Ligue 1 side were outclassed with Maurizio Sarri's side winning 2-0.

The two met again in Nice on Tuesday evening and after missing the first leg, Balotelli was included to spark the French side into life.

However, he did quite the opposite, turning in a truly dreadful performance in which he was booed by the home fans when he was substituted.

Nice's manager Lucien Favre was furious, saying after the match: "Balotelli? I don't even want to comment on his performance vs Napoli."

Yes, it was that bad. The striker looked lost and uninterested and at the start of the first half, he was involved in a truly bizarre incident.


As the clock was ticking, Balotelli was on the sidelines arguing with officials about something - which was apparently about the jewellery he was wearing - leaving his side down to 10 men.

Napoli would go on to make it 1-0 while he was off the pitch, effectively ending the tie. A video of the strange ordeal can be seen below.


Balotelli's jewellery was the decisive moment in the tie and it is just another chapter in one of football's most controversial books.

Nice will now have to make do with the Europa League where they could come up against Arsene Wenger's Arsenal.

The striker has already been sent off once in his career against the Gunners while with Manchester City because that's just what Mario does.

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Mario Balotelli

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