Balotelli: 'We can win Ligue 1 title'
Mario Balotelli has not given up hope that OGC Nice can win the Ligue 1 title this season, but admitted "it's difficult."
With nine games left this season, Nice — currrently in third place — have a five-point deficit to make up on their league-leading Côte d'Azur neighbours while reigning champions Paris Saint-Germain are sandwiched in between the pair.
Following Saturday's game at Nantes, Lucien Favre's men face fast-improving Girondins de Bordeaux while they must play PSG, Olympique de Marseille and Olympique Lyonnais in three of their last four games of the season.
A place on the Ligue 1 podium would represent Nice's best top-flight finish since they finished runners-up in 1975/76, but Balotelli has his sights set higher.
"It's not easy because Monaco have a five-point lead over us. But I don't play for anything else other than being first. It doesn't interest me to be second or third. I play to win. I want to win and I think we can do it. It's difficult, especially as we have some difficult games left, but we can do it."
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Balotelli has made a significant contribution to Nice's success this term, scoring ten league goals in 16 outings so far since his move from Liverpool last summer.
The Italy international told RMC he is revelling in life on the south coast of France.
"Everything is going well. I'm really good here," the 26-year-old former Manchester City, Inter Milan and AC Milan forward said. "We have exceptional fans. They really encourage us at every game, and I thank them for it.
"It's a young team, younger than me. I've been really warmly welcomed and I'm very happy here."
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So happy it seems that he could be ready to extend his stay at the Allianz Riviera beyond the one-year deal he signed last summer.
"Yes, I hope so. If it's as you say, I'll sign here for life," replied Balotelli when it was put to him he would stay at Nice if the club keeps growing and qualifies for European football.
"If there was European football, to live here, with a new training centre, I don't see what could be better!"