Mario Balotelli's move to Nice was mutually beneficial - Lucien Favre
Mario Balotelli's move to Nice was clearly the right move for both the player and the club despite initial doubts, coach Lucien Favre says.
After leaving Liverpool on a free transfer last summer, Balotelli has excelled in his first season in Ligue 1, scoring 15 goals to help Nice finish third and qualify for the Champions League next season.
The Italian striker's success was no guarantee following his turbulent past, but Favre said the move helped Balotelli "re-enter" his career.
"It's clear, we must tell the truth, at the beginning, everyone was asking questions -- 'Will it work?'" Favre said.
"It was not easy to bet on that. But again, I said throughout the season, he helped us. He scored goals, in September I think, which gave us points, which gave us confidence.
"Even if, in January-February, it was difficult for him. We still managed to get 0-0, 1-1... After that, he caught up on other matches. What he lacks is consistency.
"I was open [to the signing of Balotelli]. We did not have too many solutions, but we talked and then I thought it was a good idea. In the end, it was a very good idea!"
Favre also said the addition of Balotelli aided Nice both on and off the pitch, with the club now set to enter the Champions League third qualifying round in July.
"All in all, he helped Nice," Favre said. "On the marketing side too, we must not deny it. It also helped him to re-enter in the race because he was not very good after Liverpool. He trained with the youth team.
"In Nice, he did a great thing. Liverpool is fourth in the English championship, Nice is third in the French championship. And I do not know if there is a lot of difference between the two."
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