Mario Balotelli returned to Nice training this summer in such unprofessional shape

Mario Balotelli

Football fans thought Mario Balotelli had finally turned a corner with Nice last season.

The 28-year-old scored 18 goals in Ligue 1 and looked to be finally fulfilling his enormous potential after years of stagnation.

His failures at AC Milan and Liverpool had many people wondering if he would ever even get close to being a top player again.

However, in true Balotelli fashion, he's managed to strip away a lot of the positivity that has come with his successful two-year spell with Nice.

Throughout the summer, he was heavily linked with a move to fellow French side Marseille, but that eventually fell through.

There were reports that Balotelli failed to turn up for pre-season training due to the ongoing negotiations.

Now, there's an official report from top French source L'Equipe that shines light on just how unprofessional he was throughout proceedings.

They claim that when Balotelli did finally return for pre-season training, he weighed 100kg, 12kg more than his optimum weight.

L'Equipe state that he also returned two weeks later than the rest of his teammates.

Balotelli in action for Italy

"He didn't feel any need to be there as he was negotiating his transfer to Marseille at the time," a club employee also told the paper.

"He knew he was suspended for the first three games of Ligue 1 so he wasn't in good shape."

It's just not good enough from a top professional footballer.

Balotelli did play 76 minutes in Nice's game with Lyon before the break, but he is still 6kg off his optimum weight.

Balotelli on the ball vs Lyon

His dreadful display for Italy against Poland highlighted just how poor his condition still is.

Nice manage Patrick Vieira says he is a long way off from 90 minutes, but at least claimed his attitude had improved.

"In the game against Lyon, you saw that he's not yet ready to play 90 minutes. He still has a lot of work to do," Vieira said.

"We'll have to be patient with him, because unfortunately he didn't do the start of preseason training.

Nice manager Vieira

"Regarding his attitude, he's good, he's working well. He's got a positive attitude. That's the most important thing."

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