Balotelli reveals his love for… Michelle Obama!

The Nice striker posted an image of the First Lady, wife of US president Barack Obama, with a flattering compliment

Politics is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when piecing together a list of Mario Balotelli’s favourite subjects, with indoor fireworks and sulking seemingly more up his street.

Balotelli can reconquer Italy – Zambrotta

However, the fiery Italian frontman – who’s proving to be a crack striker for Nice this season – has revealed himself to be an admirer of a certain Democrat from across the pond.

No, not Hillary Clinton or her husband Bill – although his comment is something you can imagine him saying behind closed doors. In fact, Super Mario is a fan of the current First Lady – one Michelle Obama!


A photo posted by Mario Balotelli(@mb459) on

Unfortunately for Balotelli, Michelle and her husband – US president – Barack Obama will be bowing out of the spotlight in the coming weeks, as we reach the rear end of the 2016 Presidential Election race.

Ravanelli – Mario light years from Ballon d’Or

Maybe the former Manchester City and Liverpool striker will use this admiration for Michelle Obama to launch his own foray into the political world when he hangs up his boots. We’d certainly love to hear what his policies would be!

Arsenal target Koziello dreams of Nice 'doing a Leicester'

The highly-rated Nice midfielder tells Goal that “everything is possible” over his side’s chances of dethroning PSG in Ligue 1, while he was full of praise for Mario Balotelli


Arsenal target Vincent Koziello is dreaming of Nice winning the Ligue 1 title and believes that “everything is possible”.

Lucien Favre’s side, who finished fourth last term, are the surprise leaders after eight matches, one point ahead of second-placed Monaco and four in front of six-time champions PSG.

And although Koziello, who has been linked with a switch to the Gunners in the past, is keeping his feet on the ground he has not ruled out Nice going all the way in 2016-17.

Mancini tells Balotelli: Keep your shirt on!

He told Goal: “I think everything is possible in football but it is too early to tell [if Nice can win the league]. There are still a lot of games, a lot of points to take. We haven’t played against our direct rivals yet. If we are still in the title race with ten games remaining, perhaps we will play it down less!”

Mario Balotelli has hit the headlines for his impressive start to life at Nice after joining the club back in August and Koziello thinks the club have acquired a fantastic goalscorer.

He added: “Balotelli is a great player. He scores fantastic goals, He makes us win games. In terms of his attitude, he’s very nice and he doesn’t consider himself a star, even though he is. He doesn’t reflect the image the media give him at all. He is funny and he has found a group of players in Nice who can have a good laugh with him.”

Nice lost their star man in the summer after Hatem Ben Arfa left to join PSG, while former manager Claude Puel also quit the club as he took over at Premier League side Southampton.

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Koziello, though, believes the club have coped with their exits and that they have maintained their style of play despite the departures.

“I was pretty confident [that Nice would cope without Ben Arfa and Puel], the team is constantly growing, we’ve shown it at the beginning of the championship.

“We lost a great coach but we have found another one. Great players have left, others have arrived. Although tactical systems have changed, the style of play is always the same.”

Zambrotta: Balotelli can 'reconquer Italy'

The ex-Azzurri international believes the Nice striker has the talent to force his way into Giampiero Ventura’s squad, having not featured for the national team since 2014

Mario Balotelli can “reconquer Italy” if he steers clear of the problems that have stunted his development so far, according to former Azzurri defender Gianluca Zambrotta.

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Balotelli has failed to deliver on his early promise and his career appeared to be in free fall following a disappointing spell with Liverpool, which included an underwhelming loan period at former club Milan.

The ex-Manchester City forward was given the opportunity to resurrect his career by Ligue 1 outfit Nice this season and he has started brightly, scoring six goals in five appearances in all competitions.

Balotelli, 26, has been accused of having a poor attitude in the past and has not played for his country since the 2014 World Cup.

However, 98-cap Zambrotta believes Balotelli has the talent to force his way into new Italy coach Giampiero Ventura’s plans, as long has he can prove his form in France.

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“He went to play in an important league in France. It is up on him to reconquer Italy,” he told Omnisport

“He’s got potential and a huge talent. He just has to focus on what he knows best… scoring and being important for his own club.

“He can for sure be an option for Ventura, but it’s up on him.”

'Keep your shirt on, Mario!' – Balotelli gets warning from Mancini

The striker’s former mentor is confident the Nice man can score more than 20 goals this campaign, but he wants his stripping antics to stop

Roberto Mancini has backed Mario Balotelli to surpass the 20-goal mark at Nice – but warned him to stop taking his shirt off when he scores.

‘Balotelli light-years away from Ballon d’Or’

Balotelli has made a superb start to life at Nice after underwhelming spells with Liverpool and AC Milan, scoring six goals in five appearances in all competitions.

Mancini, who worked with Balotelli at Inter and Manchester City, has nothing but fond memories of the attacker and is delighted to see the 26-year-old getting back to his former best.

“Everybody has something to say about Mario and I think that must be tiresome for him,” Mancini told L’Equipe .

“I think he is fantastic. He is special for everything he does. He should score at least 20 goals at Nice. But he must remember to keep his shirt on in future. Scoring goals should be normal for him.

“I remember playing him a lot at the end of the 2007-08 campaign. Zlatan Ibrahimovic was injured and Mario did very well. I was convinced that he would become a star. But he could not deal with the pressure at the age of 17. Maybe his rise to prominence went too fast.

“He’s a very good lad, with a big heart. Sometimes he can get on your nerves, but it’s impossible not to wish him well.

“Nice have now given him a chance again and he has to take it and enjoy himself. He is still relatively young, but his career is going very fast. I hope he can still become a great player.”

Balotelli 'light-years away' from winning Ballon d'Or – Ravanelli

‘The Silver Fox’ says the Nice striker has work to do if he is to challenge for football’s most coveted individual prize

Former Italy attacker Fabrizio Ravanelli feels Mario Balotelli is nowhere near winning the Ballon d’Or despite his encouraging start to life at Nice.

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Balotelli stated earlier this season he remains hopeful of winning the prestigious award at some stage in his career, despite struggling badly for consistency in recent years.

The striker has impressed at Nice since his transfer from Liverpool ahead of the 2016-17 campaign, but Ravanelli is adamant his compatriot still has a lot of work to do before he can realistically start targeting the game’s prized individual accolade.

“Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and even Zlatan Ibrahimovic are the number ones not only because God gave them this talent but mostly because they make sacrifices in everyday life,” Ravanelli told Omnisport.

“For example a few months ago I read Novak Djokovic’s book and was gobsmacked. I understood why he is the world’s number one. He trains 14 hours per day.

“This is what Balotelli has to understand. To be Balotelli is not enough to win the Ballon d’Or. At the moment he is light-years away from winning it.

“It is hard to define him. I love him but at the same time he has to understand that a footballer’s life is hard and full of sacrifices. He is a very good guy but he makes mistakes due to his youth and his superficiality.

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“He needs to become an example. For himself, for his family, for his brother and his daughter. When you wear an important shirt like Inter’s, [AC] Milan’s, Manchester City’s and now Nice’s you have to be an example, even off the pitch.”

Balotelli missed out on a return to the Italy team for the World Cup qualifiers against Spain and Macedonia and Ravanelli feels head coach Giampiero Ventura made the right decision.

“Three or four good games are not enough to get back into the national team. This doesn’t only apply to Balotelli but to anyone,” Ravanelli added.

“You step up to international level after years of sacrifices and great results. Today you wear the Italy shirt with a good month or three or four good games. I don’t accept that and never did as I had to make so many sacrifices to be an international. I am surprised that nowadays some young players play for Italy after a couple of good displays. This hinders Italy’s performances too.

“I am not saying that the national team is a finishing point of your career. It may be a starting point but only if you proved to be capable of making sacrifices and be mature. 

“Balotelli, I hope he can get back into the Italy team, but at the same time I don’t want him to go back to his old ways.”