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Category: Mario Balotelli

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It’s the Adam and Erics 2019! The complete review of the Ligue 1 season

Kylian Mbappé scored a hatful, Dimitri Payet scored a cracker and Nacer Chadli couldn’t score at allBy Adam White and Eric Devin for Get French Football NewsWith Neymar and Edinson Cavani both struggling for fitness, PSG’s attack became (nearly) the so…

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European round-up: Mario Balotelli films celebrations after overhead goal

• Juventus go 16 points ahead after win at Napoli• Morata scores twice as Atlético Madrid keep up title chaseMario Balotelli put Marseille in front against Saint-Etienne with a brilliant overhead kick, then collected his phone from a cameraman before f…

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Monaco may regret sacking the man who revitalised the club

Vadim Vasilyev made Monaco the model of a sustainable, profitable club. But he has paid for their disastrous seasonBy Adam White and Eric Devin for Get French Football NewsUntil recently, mistakes were rare at Monaco. In just five years, the Russian du…

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Thierry Henry only has himself to blame for his failure at Monaco

Henry inherited a depleted squad but his negative tactics and immature man-management did not help his caseBy Adam White and Eric Devin for Get French Football NewsAppointing Thierry Henry as manager was always going to be a gamble for Monaco, but ther…

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Transfer roundup: Mario Balotelli joins Marseille on free transfer from Nice

28-year-old arrives on six-month contractReading loan Arsenal goalkeeper Emi MartínezMario Balotelli has joined Marseille on a six-month contract after leaving Nice, the French club have announced.The 28-year-old has yet to score a league goal this sea…

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Marseille humbled by fourth-tier amateurs in Coupe de France

Marseille played in the Europa League final in May. On Sunday they lost in the cup to club deemed too small to host the gameBy Adam White and Eric Devin for Get French Football NewsWhile gilets jaunes (yellow vests) protests interrupted much of the Lig…

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Mario Balotelli hits back at supporters over ‘Italian blood’ racist banner

• Striker urges fans to ‘wake up’ after spotting offensive message• Balotelli dedicates goal against Saudi Arabia to Davide AstoriMario Balotelli has urged Italy supporters to “wake up” after his goalscoring return to the national team was soured by an…

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Thomas Lemar’s slide at Monaco may convince Lyon to let Nabil Fékir go

The Monaco playmaker has been poor since having his head turned. Knowing when to let a player leave is so importantBy Adam White and Eric Devin for Get French Football NewsThere was some trepidation at the Parc OL on Sunday afternoon, even with the hos…

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Kick It Out slams booking of Balotelli for complaining about racist insults

• ‘It is unacceptable a match official has failed to apply Uefa protocol’• Nice forward made his point to referee and was shown yellow cardMario Balotelli’s booking for complaining about alleged racist chanting during Nice’s defeat at Dijon on Saturday…

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Football’s lost boys Morrison and Balotelli seek redemption and stir nostalgia | Richard Williams

Ravel Morrison’s fine strike for the Mexican side Atlas and the news that Mario Balotelli has rediscovered his goalscoring touch at Nice will have us wondering, yet again, if these great talents can come into sharp and sustained focusThirty yards from …

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Nice and Seri refocus after tumultuous transfer window to leave Monaco bruised

Nice had a dire start to the season – including home and away Champions League defeats by Napoli – but they got back on track in style in their local derby

By Adam White and Eric Devin for Get French Football News

As the Champions League anthem blared at the Stadio San Paolo a month ago, a broad grin spread over Allan Saint-Maximin’s face. “In this moment, I was my younger self,” explained Nice’s new winger. “When I was small I played football on the beaches of French Guyana and I would sing the Champions League anthem.” Nice, seemingly, had reached their promised land. After some shrewd coaching and astute transfer business, a stunning 2016-17 campaign had brought them to the brink of the Champions League proper.

However, after an early season collapse in Ligue 1 and a difficult transfer window, it seemed as if Nice, like Saint-Maximin, were merely dreaming of a Champions League future. They will not be competing in the group stage this week, having been outclassed by Napoli over two legs in the final qualifying round. But their 4-0 routing of champions Monaco in the Cote d’Azur derby this weekend suggests, with Jean Michaël Seri orchestrating proceedings once more, that last season’s third-place finish was no fluke.

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Napoli see off Nice with Mario Balotelli distracted by argument with officials

Napoli cruised into the Champions League group stage with a 2-0 win at Nice on Tuesday, scoring their first goal as the Ligue 1 side’s striker Mario Balotelli was arguing with match officials on the touchline.

José Callejòn took advantage of Balotelli’s absence in the 48th minute of the play-off round second-leg tie, handing them an away goal which, added to their 2-0 win from the first leg, effectively ended Nice’s challenge as it left the French side needing to score four. Lorenzo Insigne added another goal as the Serie A side completed a comfortable 4-0 aggregate win.

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Ligue 1 has Europe’s tightest title race … and most enthralling relegation battle

The bottom three clubs in Ligue 1 won this weekend to set up a close finish; Memphis Depay insulted some fish; and Mario Balotelli scored an away goal

By Adam White and Eric Devin for Get French Football News

In contrast to the past few weeks, when much of the attention in France has been on a particular match, be it the Coupe de la Ligue final or Lyon’s trip to Paris Saint-Germain, the fixture calendar did not throw up anything so compelling this weekend. Paris Saint-Germain were given the Sunday night slot, traditionally reserved for the weekend’s biggest match, by dint of their popularity but their opponents, Guingamp, have failed to score at the Parc des Princes since 2002 and that trend continued. The Bretons had beaten PSG at home earlier in the season, but their form has waned badly in 2017 and PSG duly won 4-0. But, in a surprising turn of events, there was more than enough excitement on Saturday to make up for Sunday’s series of damp squibs, and much of that excitement centred around the teams at the bottom.

Last season, the battle to avoid relegation came down to the last day, with Toulouse, on the heels of a furious fightback, staying up and Reims and Gazelec Ajaccio going down. Neither Reims, who had bizarrely changed their manager late in the season, nor Gazelec, who were operating on a minuscule budget, were likely to stay in France’s top flight. What caught the eye, though, was Toulouse’s dramatic late turnaround under Pascal Dupraz. The fiery manager had enjoyed some decent success in keeping Evian in Ligue 1, but with Toulouse badly adrift upon his appointment, he seemed a bold choice. Lorient and Bastia, the clubs that looked destined for the drop this season, were similarly cut away before the international break, but looked to have run out of options.

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Ligue 1 has Europe’s tightest title race … and most enthralling relegation battle

The bottom three clubs in Ligue 1 won this weekend to set up a close finish; Memphis Depay insulted some fish; and Mario Balotelli scored an away goal

By Adam White and Eric Devin for Get French Football News

In contrast to the past few weeks, when much of the attention in France has been on a particular match, be it the Coupe de la Ligue final or Lyon’s trip to Paris Saint-Germain, the fixture calendar did not throw up anything so compelling this weekend. Paris Saint-Germain were given the Sunday night slot, traditionally reserved for the weekend’s biggest match, by dint of their popularity but their opponents, Guingamp, have failed to score at the Parc des Princes since 2002 and that trend continued. The Bretons had beaten PSG at home earlier in the season, but their form has waned badly in 2017 and PSG duly won 4-0. But, in a surprising turn of events, there was more than enough excitement on Saturday to make up for Sunday’s series of damp squibs, and much of that excitement centred around the teams at the bottom.

Last season, the battle to avoid relegation came down to the last day, with Toulouse, on the heels of a furious fightback, staying up and Reims and Gazelec Ajaccio going down. Neither Reims, who had bizarrely changed their manager late in the season, nor Gazelec, who were operating on a minuscule budget, were likely to stay in France’s top flight. What caught the eye, though, was Toulouse’s dramatic late turnaround under Pascal Dupraz. The fiery manager had enjoyed some decent success in keeping Evian in Ligue 1, but with Toulouse badly adrift upon his appointment, he seemed a bold choice. Lorient and Bastia, the clubs that looked destined for the drop this season, were similarly cut away before the international break, but looked to have run out of options.

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After 17 months out injured, Mickaël Le Bihan comes off the bench to rescue Nice

Nice were 1-0 down against Montpellier and in danger of falling behind their Ligue 1 title rivals until Mickaël Le Bihan scored two vital goals on his comeback

By Adam White and Eric Devin for Get French Football News

Nice did well to beat Lorient last weekend and keep pace with Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain in the title race, despite finishing the match with 10 men. Nice had lost to Lorient in the Coupe de France in January and Bernard Casoni has had Lorient in better goalscoring form since taking over in November. Wylan Cyprien scored an early goal, however, and that was all Nice needed to pick up three points on a weekend when Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain could only draw.

The dismissed player in last weekend’s match was, inevitably, Mario Balotelli. After a strong start to the season, Balotelli’s form has dropped off – he has accumulated more red cards (two) than goals (one) in his last five league starts – but, with Nice’s top scorer Alassane Pléa ruled out for the rest of the season due to a knee injury, the team were desperately short of strikers for their trip to Montpellier on Friday night. Having brought in only the promising but untested winger Bassem Srarfi and the veteran midfielder Mounir Obbadi in January, Nice were left without an orthodox striker against Montpellier, who have won three of four matches since Jean-Louis Gasset replaced Frédéric Hantz last month.

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Bastia handed point deduction and stadium ban for racist abuse of Mario Balotelli

• Ligue 1’s disciplinary committee also imposes suspended one-point deduction
• Bastia have already banned one supporter for making monkey chants

Ligue 1 disciplinary committee has ordered Corsica’s Bastia to close part of their stadium for three matches after a group of supporters shouted racist insults at Nice striker Mario Balotelli during a 1-1 draw in January.

The club was also given a suspended one-point deduction, meaning that for now they are still second-from-bottom in the standings on 23 points, a point ahead of Lorient.

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Marseille want to show ambition but signing Dimitri Payet is not the answer

Lyon triumph over Marseille; Monaco keep scoring goals; Mario Balotelli accuses Bastia fans of racism; and Paris Saint-Germain fight back after a back pass farce

By Adam White and Eric Devin for Get French Football News

While not a match for the ages, the Olimpico on Sunday night between Lyon and Marseille offered a stark contrast between ambition and reality. Marseille, now under the ownership of American businessman Frank McCourt, have been trying to create a big splash in the transfer market – most notably in their clumsy pursuits of Dimitri Payet and Jordan Amavi – but for now they have had to make do with signing Morgan Sanson, whose situation provides an ideal lens through which to examine both the match and the two clubs.

Marseille’s pursuit of Payet comes on the back of a brilliant season for West Ham and superb performances for France at Euro 2016. West Ham finished just four points short of fourth place in the Premier League in 2015-16 and Payet was named in the PFA’s team of the season, becoming the first West Ham player to feature in the team since Trevor Brooking in the 1977-78 season. His indifferent attitude and inconsistent performances have held him back this season but, at 29, he remains a box-office attraction in France, especially in the city he called home from 2013 until 2015.

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Mario Balotelli sent off for kicking out as nine-man Nice are held at Bordeaux

• Nice striker sees red in stoppage time during goalless draw
• Monaco and PSG both win to close gap on leaders

Mario Balotelli was sent off in stoppage time as nine-man Nice saw their lead at the top of Ligue 1 trimmed to two points heading into the winter break following their goalless draw at Bordeaux.

The former Manchester City and Liverpool striker, recently linked with a return to the Premier League, was sent off in stoppage time for kicking out at Igor Lewczuk while his team-mate Younès Belhanda also saw red moments later.

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Nice maintain top spot after beating Lyon despite Balotelli’s wasted penalty

Nice strengthened their grip on the Ligue 1 standings when they beat 10-man Lyon 2-0 at home on Friday.The Azurean side, who now have 23 points from nine games, lead second-placed Monaco, who lost 3-1 at Toulouse, by four points. Continue reading…

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Mario Balotelli finds new lease of life on and off the pitch at Nice

With six goals from five games at his new club the striker is back in the headlines but this time it is for all the right reasons and a return for Italy is his target

For the umpteenth international break since last appearing for his country during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Mario Balotelli is doing his own thing as his compatriots pull on the Azzurri jersey. Yet, unlike most of these weeks spent kicking around in the international wilderness, widely regarded as an outlier incapable of fulfilling his potential, this time the Balotelli question feels sharply pertinent. Italy’s forward options are not the most inspiring, and a few miles along from the coast of Liguria, in the south of France, Balotelli’s goal blaze is firing the imagination.

This complex, sometimes maddening, spark of powerful attacking talent has been reignited at Nice. After a couple of fruitless seasons where his career stalled at Liverpool and on loan at Milan, Balotelli has been busy reminding critics why, on ability alone, he should be towards the front of any queues for an attacking berth for his country. It is early days, and the debate still needs to tilt further in his favour, but if his eye-catching start to life in Nice goes on, Giampiero Ventura may have to open the door to a recall for the kid who had it all but somehow lost it along the way.

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