Mario Balotelli has denied suggestions Lucien Favre took a risk by bringing him to Nice, and urged his new team’s supporters to ignore negative stories about him.
The 26-year-old ended a disappointing two-year spell at Liverpool by moving to Allianz Riviera on a free transfer, and he is hoping to rediscover the form that saw him impress with Manchester City and Italy’s national team.
Balotelli is one of eight attackers in Favre’s squad but the former Inter and AC Milan player expects to get the backing of the Nice coach.
“This is a sporting and footballing decision,” Balotelli said. “Other teams have contacted me but I wanted to play.
“Nice is the project that interested me. The coach convinced me, he believes in me.
“I know that with this coach, Nice is a team that will play good football and I like teams that produce that type of game.”
Balotelli underwent surgery on a hip flexor injury last season and he acknowledged his physical condition has been an issue.
But he played down the suggestion he represents a risk after his disappointing time at Anfield, saying: “My career is different from anything that has been written in the press.
“For me it is not a risk. I had physical problems, but a risky player? No.”
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