VIDEO: Balotelli’s hilarious dizzy penalty fail

The former Manchester City and Liverpool striker has taken a break from pre-season preparations at Nice to have a bit of fun in his back garden

Mario Balotelli has become the latest high-profile figure to fall foul of a dizzy penalty routine.

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The enigmatic Italian striker will be turning out for Nice again in 2017-18, having agreed to a new deal with the French outfit, but has taken a break from pre-season training to amuse himself, and others, in his back garden.

The 26-year-old former Manchester City, Liverpool and Milan forward has proved over the years that he knows his way to the back of the net, but he fails to even make contact with the ball in his dizzy effort as he ends up sprawled on the turf.

 

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Balotelli netted 17 times for Nice in all competitions last season, with 15 of those efforts coming in Ligue 1.

His best return since 2013-14 saw him help Lucien Favre’s side to a third-place finish and Champions League qualification.

WATCH: Balotelli back in goal groove

He will form part of that European adventure after committing to a new 12-month contract.

Balotelli will hope that he can maintain his high standards in the new campaign, with it possible that he could force his way back into the international fold with Italy ahead of the 2018 World Cup in Russia next summer.

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VIDEO: Balotelli back in the goal groove with stunning free-kick for Nice

Having committed to a new one-year contract with the Ligue 1 side, the enigmatic Italian striker is working his way into form during pre-season

Mario Balotelli has not taken long to get back among the goals after penning a new one-year contract at Nice.

Having put a forgettable spell at Liverpool behind him to get his career back on track in France, the enigmatic Italian has favoured continuity and stability over another change of scenery this summer.

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He has agreed another 12-month deal with the side he helped to a third-place finish and Champions League qualification in 2016-17.

Balotelli will be hoping to hit the ground running in the new campaign, and is already off the mark in pre-season after netting a stunning free-kick in a friendly date with Servette.

The former Manchester City and Milan striker also hit the crossbar with an ambitious effort from distance which had the Servette goalkeeper scrambling backwards through the smoke of a flare let off behind the goal.

Balotelli’s efforts helped Nice to a 3-1 victory over their Swiss opponents.

 

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With the 26-year-old back in the goal groove, he will now be looking to better his return from last season.

With consistency returned to his game, Balotelli found the target 17 times in 28 appearances during his debut campaign in France.

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Balotelli extends Nice deal

The 26-year-old has opted to remain at Allianz Riviera, where he enjoyed a fruitful season, helping the club qualify for the Champions League

Former Liverpool and Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli has extended his contract at Nice, snubbing reported interest from Borussia Dortmund.

The Italy international, 26, scored 17 goals in 28 games for the French club in all competitions last season, helping them to a third-place finish in Ligue 1.

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Nice confirmed the news of Balotelli’s contract extension on Sunday afternoon, meaning he will remain at the Allianz Riviera as they attempt to qualify for the 2017-18 Champions League group stage.

The striker, who also counts Milan and Inter among his former clubs, joined Nice on a free transfer in the summer of 2016, signing on a one-year deal.

In signing for the French club, Balotelli brought an end to a disappointing spell at Liverpool and he flourished under the guidance of Lucien Favre, scoring 15 goals in 23 league appearances.

He had been linked with a move away from the club at the conclusion of the 2016-17 season. Dortmund and Marseille were among the teams linked with the Italian, but he has extinguished speculation surrounding his future by penning a new deal.

The length of the contract remains a mystery as Nice didn’t reveal how many years will run on Balotelli’s new deal, however his salary is believed to have decreased to make him more affordable for the club.

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‘Balotelli ready to make financial sacrifice to stay with Nice’

The 26-year-old is ready to commit the next two seasons of his career to the side he helped finish third in Ligue 1 last season

Mario Balotelli wants to stay with Nice and is ready to take a pay cut to ensure that he can, according to president Jean-Pierre Rivere.

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Balotelli arrived with the Ligue 1 side last August on a free transfer from Liverpool, though his contract with the club is due to expire next week.

After scoring 15 goals last season for the side that finished third in Le Championnat, the Italy international wishes to stay on the Cote d’Azur, despite interest from Marseille and Turkey. 

“I will only say two or three things on Mario,” he said on Thursday. “The first is that the player wants to stay in Nice. Afterwards, he’s ready to make financial efforts to continue to work with us.”

The 26-year-old has had an unsettled career, playing at five different clubs since 2010. Reports suggest, however, he is ready to commit his next two seasons to Nice, with a monthly salary in the region of €450,000.

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Super Mario’s World: Balotelli misses kick-off due to laces mishap

The spotlight-loving Italian was a minute late entering Nice’s clash with Nantes due to a bizarre moment when he needed help with his boots

Sometimes, you just know it’s going to be one of those days. Mario Balotelli probably felt like that on Saturday afternoon, when he trotted out for Nice’s Ligue 1 encounter against Nantes more than a minute after the match had kicked off.

The Italian had been named in the starting XI for Lucien Favre’s side, but he did not take part in the action for over 90 seconds due to a problem with his shoe laces.

Indeed, the striker needed to get someone from the dugout to tie them for him in one of the most bizarre acts of the season.

WATCH: Balotelli’s lace mishap forces him to miss kick off

When he took to the field, things did not get a great deal better. Mario is still searching for his first Ligue 1 goal away from home this season and was unable to find the target at Stade de la Beaujoire, where his side fought back from a goal down to secure a point thanks to Jean-Michel Seri’s strike.

Despite the 1-1 draw, Nice find themselves seven points off the pace of leaders Monaco and have probably seen their title hopes disappear with eight matches of the campaign remaining.

Balotelli’s contract with Nice is up at the end of the season, and there is already speculation that he could return to Italy, with Napoli among the clubs in the running. Agent Mino Raiola, however, told Radio C: “It is still too early to talk about his future.”

 

 

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Balotelli has previously indicated he is happy at Nice and has suggested he is open to staying with the French side, but Favre’s decision to replace him seven minutes from time in Nantes was not one that pleased him.

The coach was pragmatic about the reaction, stating after the game: “I don’t know any players who are happy to be replaced, whoever they are. I remember when I was a player, I didn’t like to go off.”

Indeed, before the encounter, Balotelli once again posted a message encouraging his team-mates on Instagram.

 

@ogcnice #allez

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In recent weeks, he has also posted tributes to his former clubs.

This time, it was Manchester City’s turn, as he reposted a video of him scoring with his shoulder against Norwich in the Premier League – perhaps the most casual goal scored in the history of the competition.

 

Good night

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No doubt it is a goal he has shown the number one lady in his life, daughter Pia, who continues to star in his photos. This week, she was apparently caught disappointed having to go to bed while in the middle of dressing up as Elsa from Frozen.

Mario will have the chance to spend some more quality father-daughter time this week as he has once again missed out on the Italy squad, though no doubt he will be supporting the Azzurri from afar, always with an aim of returning to their ranks.

That is a long-term goal, though. His more immediate task is to help ensure Nice claim the third and final Champions League berth in Ligue 1. Bereft of Alassane Plea and Wylan Cyprien until the end of the season due to serious injury, there is a great level of expectation on Balotelli with two months of the campaign remaining.

To get back to Italy duty, success with Nice is the fastest possible route.