Mario Balotelli missed out on the opportunity to make a winning farewell to Nice as he sat out the final match of the season injured.
It proved to be something of a thriller as another forward, Alexandre Lacazette, caught the eye in a 3-3 draw against Lyon at Parc OL.
Lacazette only came to the fore in the second half, scoring two brilliant goals to give his side the edge. Nice, though, have been nothing if not resilient this season and, even with a squad decimated by injury troubles, they fought back three times after falling behind to ensure a share of the spoils.
Stathis Donis, their Blackburn-born striker on loan from Juventus, proved the hero of the day as he grabbed a brace of his own to match the home forward. But it was Jean Michael Seri who held his nerve in the final minute to convert a late penalty to split the points.
Balotelli, meanwhile, is not willing to call it quits with Lucien Favre’s men just yet, despite rumours that he is wanted along the Cote d’Azur by Marseille.
Taking to Instagram, he posted a picture and said: “Thank toy people for all those emotions of this year.. I hope we can be together again.. future will tell.”
There was further encouragement for Nice fans who are hoping the Italian might stay with them at least a season longer when he posted a picture last Sunday with the hashtag: ‘#Ilovethisplace’.
What is certain is that after a strong season, Balotelli holds all the cards for his future – just as he did in this Saturday game of Uno.
While Nice finished the season third, Balotelli also had his eyes elsewhere, closely following Brescia’s fight against relegation from Serie B.
On Thursday, the side from the city where Mario moved as a two-year-old tackled Trapani in a relegation decider at Stadio Mario Rigamonti. Against opponents who started the game three points below them in the standings, a victory was required to keep them up for sure.
Goals from Ernesto Torregrossa and Andrea Caracciolo allowed them to run out 2-1 victors and secure survival, much to Balotelli’s pleasure.
Brescia grazie — Mario Balotelli (@FinallyMario) May 18, 2017
Now it may be the off season, but Balotelli cannot relax.
He must work out where he wants to play next season and whether he wants to roll the dice by leaving Nice, where he has spent a successful season charming the locals.