It was reported by L’Equipe this week that Mario Balotelli didn’t exactly take his pre-season very seriously.
Now, Balotelli rarely seems to take anything seriously.
But the report that he returned to Nice training in the summer overweight was pretty concerning.
The Italian striker weighed in at 100kg, which is 12kg more than his optimum weight.
L’Equipe claimed that Nice’s fitness coaches were immediately put to work in an effort to cut Balotelli’s weight.
It’s not the first time that Balotelli’s physical condition has been called into question.
In 2015, then-AC Milan head coach Sinisa Mihajlovic said Balotelli had to lose some weight before he could be considered to play.
Balotelli takes to Instagram
So Balotelli knows what’s required of him, and it’s a shame he didn’t take his fitness seriously over the summer.
It was also reported that the former Manchester City and Liverpool striker has been fined by Nice for the state he returned in.
But he’s now responded in a hilarious post on Instagram Stories.
“Me fined for being overweight? 1 Look at the physique I’ve got! It’s laughable that you talk of me being overweight,” he wrote, as translated by Football Italia.
“2 Now go **** yourselves with your invented garbage! Now you even say I’ve been fined? Whoever wrote that ought to lose their job.”
Balotelli then posted an edited photo of himself looking extremely heavy.
He added: “I just took this selfie! All doubts cast aside!”
Well, at least he can see the funny side of the situation.
The concern, though, is that he isn’t performing well.
He disappointed while playing for Italy against Poland and missed the game against Portugal with a thigh problem.
The injury prevented him from playing for Nice in their 2-1 win over Rennes on Friday.
It’s too late to expect Balotelli to change his ways but the least he can do is put himself in a position to make an impact.