Joining Nice back in the summer of 2016 was probably the best thing that Mario Balotelli could have done for his career.
The Italian striker flopped badly at Liverpool during the 2014-15 campaign and then returned to AC Milan on loan the following season and didn’t fare much better there, either.
With Europe’s elite clubs no longer prepared to take a chance on Balotelli, the much-maligned centre-forward accepted the offer from Nice to resurrect his career.
His debut season with the French outfit worked out better than the vast majority of football fans expected.
He scored 17 goals in 28 appearances, helping Nice secure a hugely impressive third-place finish in Ligue 1 in the process.
Speculation was rife over the summer months that Balotelli might be snapped up by a bigger club once again but the former Manchester City star remains at the Allianz Riviera for now.
Balotelli is still scoring regularly for Nice
His second season has been pretty decent on a personal level.
Balotelli netted his ninth goal of the campaign in Nice’s 1-0 win over Dijon on Sunday.
However, that was only Nice’s fourth victory of the season. Lucien Favre’s side have picked up 13 points and currently find themselves 15th in the table as a result.
Balotelli sent off v Dijon
Nice’s win was tarnished towards the end of the match when Balotelli was shown a straight red card by referee Olivier Thaul for a challenge on Cedric Yambere.
Why always him?
The red card seemed harsh
Many people felt the decision was harsh - and you can see why…
What Balotelli did after getting sent off
But did you notice from the video what Balotelli did after getting sent off?
Watch the footage again and you’ll see that he punched the dugout where officials were sat, making one bloke jump from his seat while covering his head.
He thought he’d been hit for a moment!
Reaction to Balotelli incident
Needless to say, those who spotted the incident found it most amusing…
Never change, Mario. Never change.
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