Mario Balotelli has been defended by Nice manager Patrick Vieira following criticism of his performances for the Italian national team
Vieira gave his support for Mario Balotelli after he was criticised in the Italian media for his sub-par performance in the Azzurri’s 1-1 draw with Poland earlier this month.
“Mario was severely criticised in Italy: it’s always like that when the team doesn’t win, you need someone to blame,” he said. “I think that Mario was the perfect culprit for the Italian press.
“It’s a shame. We spoke about it together, and I know that for these kinds of things, he is strong enough mentally to deal with the situation. But they have really been unfair with him.”
Balotelli could play only his second Ligue 1 game of the season after being included in the Nice squad to face Montpellier on Saturday.
The Italian reported to preseason training two weeks late amid speculation he would join Marseille and reportedly returned weighing 100kg, raising concerns about his fitness.