Mario Balotelli admits his he could leave Nice in January, discussing Napoli links and why he’d “go back to Manchester City for free.”
“The past is behind us, but in football you can always write new chapters. My mistake was to live my adolescence like any other adolescent would, but that was not allowed. I don’t think I did anything particularly crazy.”
He seems to have found his niche at Nice, but the club President declared they cannot afford his wages if they don’t qualify for Europe.
“I called (agent) Mino Raiola and asked: ‘What am I doing in January?’ He said he didn’t know. I want to remain, so we’ll see. Admittedly, I would like to get back to having a strong squad behind me. I want to play in the Champions League and win something.
“I am certainly not thinking about the end of my career yet. I am 27 years old, so I can play another six or seven years at the top level.
“I know that in football I must continue working hard. I think I’m on the right track to do well and we’ll see where I end up.”
Balotelli was asked if racism played a part in his reputation as a wild man of football.
“I’d be a hypocrite to say that, because I contributed plenty to my problems, but I do think it didn’t help. I’m very happy to have black skin.”
Much of that reputation was earned at Manchester City, where he won the Premier League and had some bizarre situations off the field, including accidentally setting fire to his bathroom with fireworks.
“I love City, the Manchester City fans and the club. I’d happily go back there for free. It was the best year of my life, even if the city is a little difficult to live in. Manchester is not London.
“In football terms, City was spectacular. I am so happy that they are going strong with Pep Guardiola and hope they win the title with 20 games to spare.
“In Serie A, I hope Juventus don’t win the Scudetto. It’s not that I have anything against Juve, but they always win, so I hope for Inter or Napoli.”
Balotelli has been linked with a potential move to Napoli, especially after Arkadiusz Milik’s injury.
“It seems as if the President isn’t very fond of me. If a President wants a player, he signs him.”