/Soccer: Balotelli Hoping to bounce back at Marseille

Soccer: Balotelli Hoping to bounce back at Marseille

Olympique Marseille’s newly-signed player Mario Balotelli attends a news conference in Marseille, France, January 23, 2019. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier

PARIS (Reuters) – Italy striker Mario Balotelli is hoping to get back on track as he joined Olympique de Marseille from fellow Ligue 1 side Nice on a six-month contract on Wednesday.

The 28-year-old, who also played for Inter Milan, AC Milan, Manchester City and Liverpool, has yet to score a league goal this season after netting 33 from 51 Ligue 1 games in the two previous seasons.

Marseille are seventh in the standings, level on 31 points with eighth-placed Nice who have played a game more.

“When this happens the striker is responsible for the situation but sometimes there are external factors. I was supposed to leave at the beginning of the season, then I didn’t leave,” Balotelli told a news conference.

“But I will make up for it.”

Asked what his ambitions were, he joked: “My ambition is to finish this news conference, go to training and see if I can play on Friday.”

Marseille take on second-placed Lille on Friday, but coach Rudi Garcia said Balotelli would at best come off the bench.

“He hasn’t played or trained for a month, it is impossible to see him start on Friday,” Garcia told reporters.

“We will have to wait to see how long it takes him to be at 100 percent.”

Reporting by Julien Pretot; editing by Christian Radnedge

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