October 1, 2017
Balotelli: “I feel good here”
Super Mario (elected Aiglon Crédit Agricole in September by the supporters) spoke to OGCNICE.MAG before the derby. This morning, the official site gives you some extracts from the extensive interview which appears in this evening’s programme for the match between Nice - Marseille, available tonight at the Allianz Riviera (Café des Aiglons, and stadium sellers,…)
Mario, before anything else, can you explain the choice that you took this summer: to continue your adventure with OGC Nice ?
I stayed because I feel good here, quite simply. Good with my teammates, with the fans, with the manager(*). When I joined the first time, I would never have thought that I would feel like that. It surprised me, but I am happy. And then the project is a nice one. This summer, we all had the objective of getting into the Champions League. We wanted to go and, at least, qualify for the Europa League.
You speak about ”the mister”. Did Lucien Favre play a big role in your choice?
This summer, the president said to me that he had pushed for me to stay. He wanted me to be here. And I knew that he would help me to play exactly how he wants me to. He already did that last season.
“I need to hear more about my errors than what I am doing well. Because you learn from your errors.”
How do you feel physically?
I am in the process of progressing. Today, I am in the process of finding that continuity that I have always wanted and that I have often been lacking in the last two years. It’s only when you work well physically and that you feel good. The pre-season also played an important role, because I was here from the start. During the last international break, I also worked well, even during my days off. That’s what I need. They give me one day off and I work on the second, because I can’t allow myself to stop too long. If I go back to training and I’m not in good form, I’m not happy with that.
If you were a coach, what would you say to Super Mario to get him to the next level?
I would look to limit the number of compliments that I give him. And, quite the opposite, I would try to wind him up, because I know myself : when everything is going well, It’s a problem. When somebody annoys me, I get angry, and I don’t do anymore. I need to hear more about my errors than what I am doing well. Because you learn from your errors. Because you learn from your errors.
This evening, it’s the derby. Do these games have a different taste for you?
I played in the Manchester derby, the Milan derby at the San Siro - which for me is the best one-, the Liverpool one too. I am not saying they are matches like the others, because they are are always great matches. But I don’t pay too much attention, I just want to play. It’s normal that the fans take to the game differently, that’s even a good thing. But on the pitch, we have to say that it’s a match like any other.
(...) Marseille, they have Rami, a friend who I have played with. He is a good player. There is also Patrice Evra, he is also a friend, a good guy. I wish them... No in fact, I don’t wish them anything, I hope that we will win and that is all.
*in Italy, the coach is respectfully named the “mister”..