After signing Mario Baotelli on a one-year contract, Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere responded to questions about the ‘risk’ he was supposedly taking by signing the Italian.
“We know the risk we are taking, but it’s one I take with pleasure,” he said. But he’ll surely be licking his lips now!
Balotelli became the ultimate troll when he signed for the French club. The internet exploded with memes making a mockery out of the 26-year-old. The man who was once the best young player in the world – crowned so in 2010 – was now the laughing stock of world football.
However, after a disastrous stint at Liverpool, Balotelli has resurrected his career since moving to France. For every spiteful tweet sent out by Jamie Carragher and the rest of his critics, he has responded with goals.
And he found the back of the net yet again as Nice beat Lorient 2-1 to continue their incredible form this season. With just five minutes left on the clock, Balotelli received the ball from a brilliant back-heel pass, before proceeding to dance past two defenders and bend one into the top corner.
The goal was his sixth in five games – an incredible haul for someone who had just found the net once for Liverpool in an entire year. His goal also sent Nice to the top of Ligue 1, ahead of Monaco.
It wasn’t all rosy for the striker, however, as he found himself sent off just six minutes later.
His first booking came after he ripped off his shirt while celebrating his winning goal. A few minutes later, he clashed with Steve Moreira, but there was hardly anything in it that warranted a card. But that was not how the referee viewed it, and Balotelli was sent off after receiving his second yellow card.
It was a typical Mario Balotelli moment. Nice would hardly be complaining, though.