December 25, 2017
Super Mario, the odyssey of 2017
How can you talk about the last year, without talking about him? How can you look back at the images without rolling out the red carpet? A man of spectacle, Mario Balotelli left his mark on 2017. To the delight of the Niçois. For posterity.
Stats fall to one side for the career of a man who has won, at just 27 years old, the most sought after trophies in club football. Championship wins in Italy and England, the cups in these same two countries, the Champions League... the finalist at Euro 2012 has an impressive trophy cabinet. But good heavens, what a perspective stats can give to the year that has just come to an end, even though he has participated in the biggest clashes in the world of football? The answer is clear. The bull hasn’t added to his honours, but he is back at the summit. Better still: he has never been so influential for his team for such a prolonged period of time. A renaissance in the sunshine. At the center of the world.
2017: The best year of his career
The figures bring the proof. In 10 years of professional football, it has been the case that he has played more minutes in a year (2611 minutes with City and Milan in 2013 - League and Europe included -, 2428 with the Gym in 2017); to pick up more assists (6 in 2008 with Inter); but he has never found the back of the net on so many occasions. With 23 goals in 365 days (league, Europe, qualifying rounds, national cups), each as beautiful as the next, he is getting onto the scoresheet more than once every two matches (0.65 goal per match, to be precise) and beats his score tally from 2013 (21). If you extend this to the start of his adventure in Nice, he has scored 33 goals in 49 matches. He needed 77 with Milan to reach the same total, in what has been his club record...
Finally, his influence can also be measured by the impact of his goals. When he has scored, the Gym have won 13 times, drawn on 4 occasions and fallen to 3 defeats.