Mario Balotelli has taken a swing at Paris Saint-Germain, claiming that he sees them as just another Ligue 1 side.
The striker, who was overlooked for the most recent Italy squad, has been in excellent form for Nice this season and will face off against PSG on Sunday.
It is a match that Balotelli does not seem to be attributing any particular importance to, suggesting that the capital side, who are 14 points clear of Monaco at the top of the standings, see themselves apart from their domestic rivals.
“Paris are like Guingamp, they’re a Ligue 1 team,” he told Canal+’s ‘Telefoot’ program. “I don’t care if it’s PSG. It doesn’t make any difference.
“This season I have never watched PSG, only the last game against Real Madrid. They deserved to lose.”
Over the course of the last year, the capital side have made headlines with their lavish spending, notably splashing a world-record sum of €222 million on Neymar, but Balotelli says there’s more to football than collecting stars.
“Money allows you to buy big players, but not a team,” the 27-year-old said, referring to PSG’s exit at the hands of Madrid at the last-16 stage of the Champions League.
Meanwhile, after scoring 22 goals in 30 outings this term, the striker is pleased with what he has accomplished.
“I think this has been one of the best seasons of my career,” he said. “But I can do a lot more. I hope the best is yet to come.”
The former Manchester City striker, who is out of contract at the end of the season, is unlikely to remain at Nice into next term.
“It’s likely that Mario will go to explore other horizons,” Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere explained to the same show, while scotching rumours that Hatem Ben Arfa might return to the club after 18 months in the wilderness with PSG.
“I don’t think it’s possible. Hatem had a great story with us, and our fans still love Ben Arfa. We tried to sign him at the end of the last transfer market. It didn’t happen and I understand his reasons.”
Nice are eighth in Ligue 1 but are fighting for a European spot, having reached the last 32 of the Europa League this season.