Mario Balotelli's up and down career set to reach new low

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Mario Balotelli is just so damn interesting, isn't he?

The volatile Italian seemed to be rebuilding his reputation in France a few short months ago, but recently, it seems as if the old Mario has taken over.

Although the 26-year-old - who feels like he been around forever - has scored 14 league goals for Nice this season, he has also picked up a staggering three red cards.

It seemed like the Balotelli that shone early in his Manchester City career and flourished in spells with Milan was making a comeback, but old habits have come back to bite the forward hard.

He has also found himself on the Nice bench recently, mostly because of his stuttering performances.

When the goals were flowing for Balotelli, though, a recall to the Italian national team seemed to be on the cards.

The enigmatic striker has not donned the Azzurri shirt since the 2014 World Cup some two-and-a-half years ago, and according to the current Italy boss, Giampiero Ventura, his recent exploits don't look like ending that drought.

"I speak with everyone, you can't expect to be treated with respect if you don't offer it yourself. I've made a commitment and I'll speak with Balotelli," Ventura said at a media conference.

Italy Training Session

"We haven't been able to meet yet, we've made a lot of calls, not me but [team manager Gabriele] Oriali. We'll meet, but no-one can argue with Balotelli in terms of his ability, it's all the other stuff.

"So far there haven't been positive signs. The facts tell you that Balotelli must change, we hope he does because it would be a shame if he threw his talent away."

News that Balotelli has to change is nothing new. Since the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, he had only managed to score to score two league goals in 36 appearances before his move to Nice, and when you consider he has three red cards this season, the ratios are not favourable.

It seems as though the 33-time Italy international is really running out of chances around the continent now, but after showing he can score goals this season, there will always likely be somebody who is willing to take a chance on him.

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