• By bassey
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    Nov 09, 2016
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    Mario Balotelli

    Seeking to bounce back from tough times at Liverpool and AC Milan, maverick Mario Balotelli says his adopted club Nice can lift the French title.

    Nice are unbeaten in 11 games and top the table ahead of Monaco. They are six points clear of big spenders Paris Saint Germain, helped by a Balotelli purple patch of seven goals in eight games.

    Balotelli was asked whether Nice could hold on to their lead to grab the title from PSG and France's other established names.

    "It's possible but it will be difficult. We've only played 11 games. But I'm here to win something so I think it's possible," the Italy international striker said in an interview with TF1's Telefoot programme broadcast on Sunday.

    The 26-year-old had a poor stint across two seasons with Liverpool and an equally disappointing second spell with AC Milan before winding up at Nice.

    But the seemingly backwater move has paid dividends and the Cote d'Azur side – who won four championships in the 1950s – have taken to him as he has to them.

    Nice were "a good side, even without Mario," joked Balotelli.

    "I am happy. We are top of the league. But that isn't enough for me."

    His exploits have not been enough to earn an Italy recall from coach Giampiero Ventura, who left him off the squad for a World Cup qualifier this month against Liechtenstein and a friendly against Germany, who he majestically knocked out of Euro 2012.

    Since a poor 2014 World Cup Balotelli has not featured for the Squadra Azzurra.

    Balotelli said that he found the French league a tougher competition than he had imagined.

    "When I arrived I thought it would be a lot easier."

    Nice were looking to add to their strong start later on Sunday with a win over Caen.

    AFP

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