With Nice having already secured third place in Ligue 1, the thoughts of the club have turned towards the future.
Head coach Lucien Favre has been linked with a move to Borussia Dortmund after leading the Allianz Riviera side into the Champions League for the first time, a glut of clubs are chasing midfielder Jean Michael Seri, and Mario Balotelli – their most marketable asset – finds himself out of contract.
Balotelli paid a visit to Stade Velodrome in round 36 of Ligue 1 action and was impressed with what he saw from OM’s fans as the Provence club ran out 2-1 winners in a thrilling match.
“Congratulation for the great show outside and inside the stadium ... we lost this game with our fault and they took advantage of it... but I know it sound strange but I want to thanks nissa supporters for this morning at the training ground and I want to thank Marseille supporters for the atmosphere in the stadium. Bravi,” he posted on Instagram.
Congratulation for the great show outside and inside the stadium .. we lost this game with our fault and they took advantage of it.. but I know it sound strange but I want to thanks nissa supporters for this morning at the training ground and I want to thank Marseille supporters for the atmosphere in the stadium bravi . #footballisamazing #issanissa#respectpouromquetoujouragagne. #respect
Certainly, the show put on by the Nice support was excellent, as a whole pack of supporters greeted their team with flairs at the training ground as they arrived back early in the morning.
It made for a spectacular scene and the Italian was clearly impressed. Balotelli, though, was unable to go out with a final flourish at the Allianz Riviera as Nice lost just a fourth game this season.
Coupe de France finalists Angers proved too good for the third-placed side, with their injury situation finally catching up with them.
Nice named only four substitutes so chronic were their problems, yet Balotelli had one of their best efforts with a first-half header.
It is clear that Mario has had quite a laid back, and rather fun, week.
In a don’t-try-this-at-home moment, it appears that he pinched the hammer to break the glass in case of emergency, tagging the picture “Smash it!” and offering up his trademark cheeky smile.
He’s also been having fun with brother, Enoch, as the crazy video below shows.
Next week’s match may prove to be Balotelli’s last for Nice.
It will be played out in Lyon, with neither side having anything but pride to play for, with their respective positions in third and fourth secured. Mario, though, will be aiming to go out on a high, while the Nice support will hope it is not the last they have seen of the fun-loving striker.