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Balotelli: 'Something you don't forget'

Publish on 23/01/2019 at 00:00 - S. WILLIS

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Italy international Mario Balotelli admitted to being impressed by the fans at the Orange Vélodrome when he officially signed for Olympique de Marseille from OGC Nice on Wednesday.

For weeks now Mario Balotelli has been expected to sign for Olympique  de Marseille, and on Wednesday the rumour became fact as the Italy striker put pen to paper on a season-long deal at the Orange Vélodrome.

'How it should be'

"I know that the OM fans are very proud and that there is passionate support for the team. They expect a lot from their players but, for me, that's completely fair and how it should be. I hope I can make the fans happy from my first game to my last," said the 28-year-old, who leaves OGC Nice after two and a half years at the Allianz Riviera. "In terms of character, I think I'm made the same way as the people of Marseille. I don't think there will be any problems. When I first played here with Nice, I saw that the fans got very worked up. All the player see it, it's something you don't forget. I always hoped to sign here one day."

It has been seven weeks since Balotelli turned out for Nice, and the striker admitted that it might take some time before he is back to full match fitness.

'Be on point'

"To be in form and have 90 minutes in the tank, you have to train with the squad, I've been training the whole time individually, so I'll need a few days with the rest of the team to be on point. But I'm fine physically. I just need to get my rhythm back," he explained before giving hi thoughts on his new home. "This is a great club, I don’t know the whole history but I do know players like Abedi Pelé and Fabien Barthez. OM won the UEFA Champions League. They're known the world over, even in Italy. I played with Adil Rami and I know other players from having talked to them a bit. I want to play and help the squad reach its goals. "

Since his arrival in Ligue 1 Conforama in the summer of 2016, Mario Balotelli has scored 33 times in 61 matches. He has bagged 43 goals in 76 in all competitions during his time in France.