Balotelli can return to the top – Favre backs Nice star for greatness

The Swiss believes boosts to the striker’s confidence following his barnstorming start to Ligue 1 can propel him back amongst the best in the game

Nice coach Lucien Favre believes Mario Balotelli is on track to return to the top level after another brace in Ligue 1.

The Italian forward struck twice as Nice crushed Monaco 4-0 to move top of the table on Wednesday.

After a poor spell at Liverpool, and on loan at AC Milan, Balotelli has now netted four times in two league games for Nice.

And, after the 26-year-old claimed he can still lift the Ballon d’Or, Favre feels his star is slowly demonstrating the level he can play at again.

“The goal for 2-0 is very important. Psychologically, it really gives confidence. We know we have the margin,” he told reporters.

READ MORE | Balotelli pips Falcao to send Nice top of Ligue 1

“With Mario, we know there is still a lot of work in the movement to play with the team.

“His goal for 2-0, the angle was hard, the goalkeeper is good. He must continue like this.

“He becomes aware that he will return to the top level if he is professional. After difficult years for him, the recovery will be the key to return to the top.

“Gradually, we will try to help him become stronger. Four goals in the first two Ligue 1 matches? No, I wasn’t expecting that.”

Balotelli struck on the half-hour mark when he took a pass from Younes Belhanda before finishing across the goalkeeper and off the post.

His second was a simple finish after being played through by Ricardo Pereira.

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