Mario Balotelli has revealed the best club he has played for is Manchester City…and says he would return there and play for free.
The Italy forward is currently enjoying his second season in France with Nice and he has blasted 16 goals in 21 games.
“Sixteen goals in 21 games? I didn’t even know that, it’s a special season, it should always be like that. I have no pressure, I work well but I have been working well since my time at Liverpool but goals always make the difference,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“A few years ago I did only play to have fun, but now I’ve understood how important it is to work hard. The rest depends on me. I’ve always been myself, I was acting as a teenager but I’ve hurt nobody. Anyway, people can’t ask a 20-year-old to stay at home.
“I have the right people close to me, but it would be superficial to say that my bad performances depended on my private life. [My son] Lion is my joy, after training I rush home to play with him – it would be great to have both of my children with me. I don’t know if I am a good dad but I always try to make them happy, I like to play with them even more.”
The 27-year-old forward left Liverpool on a free transfer in August 2016 to join the Ligue 1 side on a 12-month deal. And he scored 17 goals in 28 games to get himself another one-year contract and he has set his sights on returning to a “big club” having previously played for Liverpool, Man City and AC Milan.
“My target is to return in a big club and win something important. Back to AC Milan? It’s hard to say, there would be too much pressure on me like the last time. I wanted to visit my old team-mates a few weeks ago but Fassone said it was better not to do it.
“Inter? I’d be glad to be back, I told Ausilio but it was more a kind of joke. Napoli? I like the city but the president has never been interested in signing me.
“Best club I’ve played for? Manchester City for sure. I’ve had my best season there and there’s a unique atmosphere at the club, I’d return to play there even without a salary.”
Balotelli did rule out a January move though.
“I want to end the season with Nice, I was joking with my agent [Raiola] about the fact that I could leave in January but I am happy at Nice. I want to play at the highest levels for five-six more years, a bit like Zlatan he gives everything to achieve the best target.”