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PARIS -- Mario Balotelli may lose count when he adds up the number of people he has to prove wrong this season.Among them, a former Liverpool stalwart who openly mocked the controversial strikers move to French side Nice.It is nearly one year since Balotelli scored a league goal, embarrassing for someone who once talked himself up as a Golden Ball winner.If selected on Sunday, he will look to end his drought in the home match against bitter southern rival Marseille, although Nice coach Lucien Favre is unsure whether he is ready.Things are going very well but well see if he plays, Favre said Friday at a pre-match news conference. Hes very positive, hes listening.Nice is Balotellis smallest club in a stop-start career that saw him grab headlines as a mesmerizing 17-year-old for Inter Milan.Pace, power, poise, skill, heading ability, strength back to goal and composure: Balotelli had absolutely everything.Except temperament.Balotelli is like Russian roulette, said Marseille defender Rod Fanni, who could face him on Sunday. Everythings good if his heads in the right place, everything wrong if his mind is elsewhere.In recent years, Balotellis antics off the field have become his trademark, not his performances.Since his last league goal -- for AC Milan against Udinese on Sept. 22 -- the 26-year-old Italian has netted only twice in the Italian Cup against third-division Alessandri.There have been some highs, however.In one of his best games for Manchester City he looked unstoppable when scoring the first two goals in a 6-1 hammering of Manchester United in October, 2011. On the final day of that season, in arguably the most telling contribution of his club career, his wonderfully composed pass set up Sergio Agueros last-gasp winner against Queens Park Rangers -- clinching the title and depriving United of it.Within two months, Italy reached the final of the 2012 European Championship, with Balotelli scoring both in the 2-1 semifinal win against Germany. That season is arguably when he peaked -- sad considering he was 21.Although he did well for Milan over the next two seasons, with a good return of 26 league goals in 43 games, he plummeted after joining Liverpool as a replacement for Barcelona-bound Luis Suarez in the summer of 2014.Over the past two seasons, he has mustered two league goals -- one in 16 games for Liverpool and a terrible return of 1 in 20 when loaned back to Milan. It seemed normal when former Italy coach Antonio Conte left him out of his Euro 2016 squad.Hardly the stuff of a Golden Ball contender, which was not lost on former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher. He derided Balotellis move to Nice, saying on Twitter that a free transfer was still over the odds.Carraghers sarcasm aside, one fact is hard to ignore: Balotelli is entering what should be his peak years at a mediocre French club.Ending up there, given all the clubs he could have played for ... it must have hurt his pride, Fanni said.Liverpool, Milan and city-rival Inter have won 15 European Cups between them, but Nice won the last of its four league titles in 1959 and its last trophy was the French Cup in 1997. Stars like Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and Suarez have graced Milans clubs and Liverpool.The biggest name to play for Nice is Frenchman Just Fontaine -- the record scorer for a single edition of the World Cup with 13 goals -- and that was 60 years ago.Whether Balotelli can grab the spotlight in Nice -- for the right reasons -- is a very big question.He has a lot of rebuilding to do, physically but also in terms of the runs he makes, his movement, Favre said. He hasnt played in friendly games and its a long time since he played a match.---This story has been corrected to remove reference to Carragher as teammate in the 2nd and 17th paragraphs. Cardinals Jerseys Sale . Team physician Dr. Steve Traina performed the surgery Friday. Robinson was injured in a spill underneath the Nuggets basket during the first quarter of Wednesday nights loss to the Charlotte Bobcats. Mason Cole Jersey . Varlamov made 33 saves and Ryan OReilly had a goal and scored in the shootout as the Avalanche beat the New Jersey Devils 2-1 on Thursday night. . Malkin got tangled up with Detroits Luke Glendening early in the third period and his left skate took the brunt of collision with the boards behind Pittsburghs net. Christian Kirk Jersey . - After leading the Saints to a fourth playoff appearance in five seasons, Drew Brees expressed confidence in the direction of his team and, perhaps more importantly, showed a willingness to listen to contract proposals if the team needs his help getting under the NFLs salary cap. Authentic Cardinals Jerseys . As he recorded his 23rd and 24th points of the evening, a segment of the sellout Air Canada Centre crowd expressed their appreciation for the Raptors point guard with a smattering of MVP chants. Clearing the way to keep four quarterbacks on their 53-man roster, the New York Jets waived two high draft picks from the previous regime -- cornerback Dee Milliner and tight end Jace Amaro?--?league sources said Saturday.The oft-injured Milliner, the ninth overall pick in 2013, struggled in the preseason and missed the last game because of a hamstring injury. Sources said the Jets tried to trade Milliner, who began training camp as the No. 4 cornerback but lost his spot to rookie Juston Burris.Amaro was a second-round pick in 2014 but never lived up to expectations. Determined to rebound after missing 2015 due to shoulder surgery, Amaro got off to a fast start in training camp but he fizzled in the preseason games, failing to capitalize on a wide-open competition at his position.Currently, Kellen Davis and Brandon Bostick are the only tight ends on the roster.The Jets faced tough roster decisions on cut-down day, starting with the quarterback position. They will go into the season with starter Ryan Fitzpatrick, plus backups Geno Smith, Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg.Petty bruised his throwing shoulder in the final preseason game, but it wasnt serious enough to warrant injured reserve.Fitzpatrick and Smith will be the only two quartterbacks to dress on game day.ddddddddddddThe last time a team began the season with four quarterbacks was 2013, when the Washington Redskins and Minnesota Vikings both did it. It has happened only six times over the past decade, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.The Jets decision came as no surprise, as coach Todd Bowles indicated Friday that Petty would remain on the 53-man roster through the weekend.Milliner, a former Alabama standout, became the latest in a long line of first-round disappointments for the Jets. He showed promised as a rookie, but he missed 27 out of 48 games in his first three seasons.He suffered a myriad of injuries, including a ruptured Achilles tendon and a torn wrist ligament. Counting college, he has undergone at least seven surgeries.The Jets declined to exercise their fifth-year option in the spring, claiming Milliner would be given an opportunity to play and increase his value before free agency. Happy with their other corners, the team started shopping him in camp, finding no takers.Milliners $2.1 million salary is guaranteed, so the Jets dont save any cap room by releasing him. Youth NFL Jerseys Cheap Cheap Jerseys Online China Jerseys Wholesale Cheap NFL Hoodies Wholesale NFL T-shirts Stitched Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys 2020 ' ' '

t123, 07.07.2018 03:36
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