Mario Balotelli

AFP

Lemar helps Monaco beat Nice in League Cup quarters

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Nice (France) (AFP) – Thomas Lemar scored as Monaco beat Cote d’Azur rivals Nice 2-1 at the Allianz Riviera on Tuesday to reach the French League Cup semi-finals.

Lemar, who has been heavily linked with a move to England, nodded Monaco into an early lead, before Alassane Plea equalised after a video review.

Lemar helps Monaco beat Nice in League Cup quarters

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Nice (France) (AFP) – Thomas Lemar scored as Monaco beat Cote d’Azur rivals Nice 2-1 at the Allianz Riviera on Tuesday to reach the French League Cup semi-finals.

Lemar, who has been heavily linked with a move to England, nodded Monaco into an early lead, before Alassane Plea equalised after a video review.

Lyon and Marseille win, Balotelli Nice’s hero

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Paris (AFP) – Lyon and Marseille kept the pressure firmly on Monaco in the race for Champions League qualification in France as Mario Balotelli fired Nice to another victory on Sunday.

Teenage midfielder Houssem Aouar scored twice, including a last-gasp winner, as Lyon came from behind to triumph 2-1 at Amiens and go second on goal difference above both Monaco and Marseille.

Arsenal lose at Cologne, Balotelli propels Nice

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Paris (AFP) – Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal secured top spot in Europa League Group H on Thursday despite slumping to a 1-0 defeat at struggling German side Cologne.

The Frenchman made 11 changes to the team that beat Tottenham Hotspur in last weekend’s north London derby, with starts handed to Olivier Giroud, Jack Wilshere and Danny Welbeck.

Ocampos brace helps Marseille stun Nice

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Paris (AFP) – Ten-man Marseille moved up to third in Ligue 1 after Lucas Ocampos hit a brace in a thrilling come-from-behind 4-2 win at Mediterranean rivals Nice on Sunday.

Players joined fans in a minute’s applause in memory of the two victims of a knife attack in Marseille earlier on Sunday, after which the south coast rivals put on a sparkling show.

Ocampos brace helps Marseille stun Nice

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Paris (AFP) – Ten-man Marseille moved up to third in Ligue 1 after Lucas Ocampos hit a brace in a thrilling come-from-behind 4-2 win at Mediterranean rivals Nice on Sunday.

Players joined fans in a minute’s applause in memory of the two victims of a knife attack in Marseille earlier on Sunday, after which the south coast rivals put on a sparkling show.

Balotelli screamer fires Nice past Rennes

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Paris (AFP) – A sizzling Mario Balotelli strike ten minutes from time gave Nice a 1-0 win at Rennes on Sunday as last season’s Ligue 1 pace-setters appear to be overcoming a poor start this term.

Balotelli hammered a supreme shot into the top corner for his fourth goal in three games since missing the start of the season as Lucien Favre’s side continue their climb up the table into eighth place.

Balotelli screamer fires Nice past Rennes

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Paris (AFP) – A sizzling Mario Balotelli strike ten minutes from time gave Nice a 1-0 win at Rennes on Sunday as last season’s Ligue 1 pace-setters appear to be overcoming a poor start this term.

Balotelli hammered a supreme shot into the top corner for his fourth goal in three games since missing the start of the season as Lucien Favre’s side continue their climb up the table into eighth place.

Sneijder hoping Nice success will lead to World Cup

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Nice (France) (AFP) – Veteran Wesley Sneijder is dreaming of playing in a fourth World Cup next summer and believes a good season with Nice can help him achieve that aim.

The 33-year-old, the most capped player in the Netherlands’ history with 131 national team appearances, was the latest marquee signing to join the Cote d’Azur outfit when he put pen to paper on Monday.

‘Super Mario’ Balotelli in hot water again over speeding

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Rome (AFP) – Mario Balotelli has again been caught speeding in his Ferrari, police told AFP Tuesday as media reports claimed the striker had been caught doing 170-200kmh (105-125mph) in a race with a friend’s Lamborghini.

The former Manchester City and Liverpool striker, now at French club Nice, was stopped by a highway patrol on the A4 highway near the northern Italian town of Vicenza on Saturday, a local officer told AFP.

Sneijder agrees ‘in principle’ to join Nice

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Nice (France) (AFP) – Champions League winner Wesley Sneijder is on the brink of becoming the latest star name to sign for ambitious Ligue 1 outfit Nice after the two parties reached an “agreement in principle” on Sunday.

Unfashionable Nice have made a habit of signing top class talent over the last few seasons, with France international Hatem Ben Arfa, Italian striker Mario Balotelli, Brazilian centre-back Dante and Morocco playmaker Younes Belhanda all joining over the past two years.

Sneijder agrees ‘in principle’ to join Nice

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Nice (France) (AFP) – Champions League winner Wesley Sneijder is on the brink of becoming the latest star name to sign for ambitious Ligue 1 outfit Nice after the two parties reached an “agreement in principle” on Sunday.

Unfashionable Nice have made a habit of signing top class talent over the last few seasons, with France international Hatem Ben Arfa, Italian striker Mario Balotelli, Brazilian centre-back Dante and Morocco playmaker Younes Belhanda all joining over the past two years.

Sneijder arrives in Nice ahead of Ligue 1 move

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Nice (France) (AFP) – Champions League winner Wesley Sneijder is on the brink of becoming the latest star name to sign for ambitious Ligue 1 outfit Nice after arriving at the city’s airport on Sunday.

Unfashionable Nice have made a habit of signing top class talent over the last few seasons, with France international Hatem Ben Arfa, Italian striker Mario Balotelli, Brazilian centre-back Dante and Morocco playmaker Younes Belhanda all joining over the past two years.

Evra nets first Marseille goal to sink Nice

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Paris (AFP) – Patrice Evra scored his first goal for Marseille in Sunday’s 2-1 victory over Nice to extinguish the visitors’ hopes of claiming an automatic Champions League qualifying spot.

Ricardo Pereira and Dalbert both hit the post for Nice inside the opening 15 minutes, but Marseille grabbed the lead when Bafetimbi Gomis headed in his team-leading 18th goal of the season.

Evra nets first Marseille goal to sink Nice

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Paris (AFP) – Patrice Evra scored his first goal for Marseille in Sunday’s 2-1 victory over Nice to extinguish the visitors’ hopes of claiming an automatic Champions League qualifying spot.

Ricardo Pereira and Dalbert both hit the post for Nice inside the opening 15 minutes, but Marseille grabbed the lead when Bafetimbi Gomis headed in his team-leading 18th goal of the season.

Balotelli strikes to give Monaco big helping hand

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Paris (AFP) – Mario Balotelli hit his 14th league goal of the season and Ricardo Pereira scored a cracker as Nice blew a big hole in Paris Saint Germain’s title defence with a 3-1 win on Sunday.

PSG are chasing a third consecutive sweep of domestic honours but finished the weekend three points behind Ligue 1 leaders Monaco, who also have a game in hand, and played the last moments in Nice with only nine men after they had two men sent off in quick succession.

Balotelli strikes to give Monaco big helping hand

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Paris (AFP) – Mario Balotelli hit his 14th league goal of the season and Ricardo Pereira scored a cracker as Nice blew a big hole in Paris Saint Germain’s title defence with a 3-1 win on Sunday.

PSG are chasing a third consecutive sweep of domestic honours but finished the weekend three points behind Ligue 1 leaders Monaco, who also have a game in hand, and played the last moments in Nice with only nine men after they had two men sent off in quick succession.

Bastia get neutral ground, closed doors ban

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Paris (AFP) – Bastia will have to play their next home game at a neutral venue and behind closed doors as punishment for crowd violence which led to Sunday’s match with Lyon being abandoned, French Ligue 1 officials said.

Supporters of the Corsican side twice invaded the pitch and attacked the visiting Lyon players which caused the game to be called off at half-time.

Bastia get neutral ground, closed doors ban

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Paris (AFP) – Bastia will have to play their next home game at a neutral venue and behind closed doors as punishment for crowd violence which led to Sunday’s match with Lyon being abandoned, French Ligue 1 officials said.

Supporters of the Corsican side twice invaded the pitch and attacked the visiting Lyon players which caused the game to be called off at half-time.

Seri scores twice as Nice secure Champions League place

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Paris (AFP) – Pocket-sized midfielder Jean Michael Seri netted twice in the second half as Nice came from behind to beat Nancy 3-1 on Saturday and secure a crack at next season’s Champions League.

Junior Dale gave struggling Nancy the lead at the Allianz Riviera but Mikael Le Bihan levelled before the break and Ivory Coast international Seri took centre stage in the second half, scoring one of his goals from the penalty spot.

Seri scores twice as Nice secure Champions League place

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Paris (AFP) – Pocket-sized midfielder Jean Michael Seri netted twice in the second half as Nice came from behind to beat Nancy 3-1 on Saturday and secure a crack at next season’s Champions League.

Junior Dale gave struggling Nancy the lead at the Allianz Riviera but Mikael Le Bihan levelled before the break and Ivory Coast international Seri took centre stage in the second half, scoring one of his goals from the penalty spot.

Nice cede ground in title race, Marseille up to fifth

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Paris (AFP) – Mario Balotelli helped Nice salvage a 2-2 draw against modest Caen on Friday in a result that could prove costly to the south coast side’s Ligue 1 title dream.

Balotelli’s strike deep in the second half followed minutes later by Anastasios Donis’ leveller pushed Nice into provisional second.

Nice cede ground in title race, Marseille up to fifth

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Paris (AFP) – Mario Balotelli helped Nice salvage a 2-2 draw against modest Caen on Friday in a result that could prove costly to the south coast side’s Ligue 1 title dream.

Balotelli’s strike deep in the second half followed minutes later by Anastasios Donis’ leveller pushed Nice into provisional second.

Bastia punished over Balotelli abuse

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Paris (AFP) – French Ligue 1 side Bastia were punished Thursday over racist abuse directed at Nice striker Mario Balotelli in a game last month.

The French league’s disciplinary commission docked Bastia one point – suspended – and ordered the club to close its East Stand for the next three home games over the monkey chants by some of its fans.

Talented Balotelli needs attitude change – Italy coach

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Milan (AFP) – Controversial striker Mario Balotelli has shown few signs of wanting to fight his way back into the national side, Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura warned on Wednesday.

Balotelli last played for Italy at their ill-fated 2014 World Cup campaign, but his international and club career have been in a tailspin since then.

Talented Balotelli needs attitude change – Italy coach

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Milan (AFP) – Controversial striker Mario Balotelli has shown few signs of wanting to fight his way back into the national side, Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura warned on Wednesday.

Balotelli last played for Italy at their ill-fated 2014 World Cup campaign, but his international and club career have been in a tailspin since then.

Nice lose ground, Marseille beaten in League 1

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Paris (AFP) – Nice’s fading Ligue 1 title aspirations suffered a costly setback as they fell five points behind leaders Monaco despite rallying from two goals down in Sunday’s 2-2 draw at Rennes.

First-half strikes from Morgan Amalfitano and Giovanni Sio left Rennes on course for a first win in nine matches, but Valentin Eysseric set up Anastasios Dosis to pull one back on the hour mark.

Nice lose ground after Rennes draw

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Paris (AFP) – Nice’s fading Ligue 1 title aspirations suffered a costly setback as they fell five points behind leaders Monaco despite rallying from two goals down in Sunday’s 2-2 draw at Rennes.

First-half strikes from Morgan Amalfitano and Giovanni Sio left Rennes on course for a first win in nine matches, but Valentin Eysseric set up Anastasios Dosis to pull one back on the hour mark.

FIFA

News roundup: Noonan to Union, players fleeing Columbus, and Eric Lichaj’s weekend

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Also Sugarman cashes out, Atlanta spends big, and PSG walking all over Rennes

The Fall of Rome 2017

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THE AZZURRI'S ABSENCE FROM RUSSIA IS A LOSS TO THE GAME

"Here sighs and lamentations and loud cries were echoing across the starless air...strange utterances, horrible pronouncements, accents of anger, words of suffering and voices shrill and faint, and beating hands." Canto III, The Inferno, Dante
Russia 2018 has already written itself into the history books.

European Soccer

Thursday Kickoff: Man City leading chase for Sanchez, Barca still after Coutinho and more

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With January looming, big transfer rumors lead Thursday's news.

Despite interest from PSG, Alexis Sanchez is reportedly in favor of a move to Manchester City during the summer. (REPORT)

Barcelona is reportedly hoping to wrap up a deal for Philippe Coutinho in early January and the club has reportedly finalized contract terms with the Liverpool midfielder.

Thursday Kickoff: Man City after Van Dijk, Liverpool eye Kovacic and more

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Transfer season continues to heat up with some Premier League teams linked with big January moves.

Manchester City is reportedly interested in signing Virgil van Dijk or Real Sociedad's Inigo Martinez. (REPORT)

Liverpool is reportedly eyeing Mateo Kovacic as a potential replacement for Philippe Coutinho.

Tuesday Kickoff: Man City pursues Sanchez; Ronaldo, Mourinho tax issues and more

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Two of the world's giants continue to push for big-name signings while tax issues continue for several of the game's biggest stars.

Manchester City is reportedly pushing to sign Alexis Sanchez, who remains the club's top target. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, meanwhile, is not currently being pursued by the club.

Wednesday Kickoff: Big offers for Mbappe, Chelsea eyes Bonucci and more

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Offers have begun to roll in for one of the brightest prospects in the game.

Two clubs have reportedly made bids over €100 million for Monaco star Kylian Mbappe. (REPORT)

Chelsea is reportedly interested in making a move for Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci. (REPORT)

Mario Balotelli's agent says the forward could sign for Borussia Dortmund.

Nice

Nice will find it hard to hold on to Jean-Michael Seri

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OGC Nice just completed a fairly successful season in Ligue 1. They failed to collect silverware, but the French club did, however, finish in a Champions League qualifying spot for the first time in their history. The qualification into the illustrious competition should help the club secure a contract extension with striker Mario Balotelli and also attract big talent to the French Riviera (as if players needed another reason to live there).

OGC Nice: Mario Balotelli Celebrates Scoring Twice Against Lille By Knee-Sliding Through Airport Security (Video)

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Surprise package Nice kept the pressure on Monaco at the top of the Ligue 1 pile with a 2-1 away victory at Lille on Friday evening.

Both of Les Aiglons' goals came courtesy of one Mario Balotelli, with the once-waywardItalian striker notching his 14th and 15th of the season so far in the space of 24 appearances.

Balotelli should stay with Nice beyond current campaign

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When Mario Balotelli was granted a free transfer to French club Nice in the summer, most people were not expecting much from the former Liverpool misfit. After all, the Italian striker departed Merseyside after netting just four goals in 28 total appearances. He spent two years as a Red, but managed only one full season at Anfield before being sent on loan to AC Milan for the 2015/16 campaign (which was equally as disastrous).

Balotelli should stay with Nice beyond current campaign

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When Mario Balotelli was granted a free transfer to French club Nice in the summer, most people were not expecting much from the former Liverpool misfit. After all, the Italian striker departed Merseyside after netting just four goals in 28 total appearances. He spent two years as a Red, but managed only one full season at Anfield before being sent on loan to AC Milan for the 2015/16 campaign (which was equally as disastrous).

The Rest

Pre-Season Classics: Mario Balotelli Tosses It Off With A Backheel Only To Be Immediately Substituted, 2011 (Video)

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Pre-season is a time for experimentation, a time for frivolity, and yet Mario Balotelli famously found himself chastised for both during Man City's meaningless friendly Herbalife World Football Challenge match against LA Galaxy in July of 2011.

Balotelli opened the scoring with an early penalty at the Home Depot Center, then shortly thereafter found himself presented with a routine chance to double both his and City's tally.

PUMA Launches the New 365 Street Football Footwear

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PUMA introduced their new 365 Street Football Footwear range at an event last night in Paris. As a shoe that is intended as much for football as it is for style, it was only right to celebrate the streets for which the PUMA 365 was intended. In Paris PUMAput on a tournament with 8 teams [...]