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Raiola: Nice signing Balotelli can replace Ibra and rescue Ligue 1

Super agent Mino Raiola says former Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli can rescue French football.

Balotelli signed for Nice on deadline day.

“In France it's a very physical league with new stadiums and more open football. In Italy the games always end 1-0 or 2-1.

“There is always too strong a focus on Mario in Italy. I tried to find him a place where he can be judged on his football and not his private life. We therefore had to exclude Italy, even if over the last two years his life off the field has been dead boring.

“Lucien Favre wanted Mario in the team and in the end that convinced us. In England he would've had to deal with the image of the past, while many clubs have so much money they'll buy a player even if they don't need him.

“It's natural Balo is considered a risk because over the last two years he has not lived up to expectations. In that sense he's a gamble, but I'd happily take those odds.

“If it goes well, you win the League. If it's only decent, you finish in the top five. If it goes badly, oh well.

“Those who have the TV rights for Ligue 1 should give Nice a bonus. Without Zlatan Ibrahimovic, this League has lost at least 50 per cent of its media value. With Mario, it recovers at least 30 per cent, because he's a talented star, hoping this year it finally works out for him.

“I expect 20 goals this season. And if he's in the same shape as he is now, he'll definitely get 20."

About the author

Paul Vegas

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