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'Hopefully see you soon' – Balotelli delivers enigmatic Marseille farewell

  • September 13, 2019
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The Italy striker has been at Stade Velodrome since January after having his contract cancelled by Nice

Mario Balotelli has delivered a cryptic farewell to Marseille after his contract at the Ligue 1 side expired.

The former Italy striker joined the club in January on a six-month deal after his contract at Nice was cancelled, and scored eight goals in 12 games.

Marseille had hoped to secure a return to the Champions League this season, having missed out last term after losing the Europa League final to Atletico Madrid.

But the team fell short of landing one of Ligue 1’s three qualification slots, falling behind third-place Lyon and fourth-place Saint-Etienne to eventually finish fifth.

But Balotelli appeared to hint on Instagram that, despite the team coming up short, he could potentially stick around at the Stade Velodrome.  

“Thank you everybody for these amazing five months even if we didn’t achieve our objectives,” the striker wrote.

“I really wanna [sic] say thank to the coach and staff, players, president and directors. Everyone that works with OM [Olympique Marseille] supporters – THANK YOU AND HOPEFULLY see you soon or good luck for everything in the future years.”

The 28-year-old has resurrected his ailing career in France since joining Nice in 2016.

Following unsuccessful spells at Liverpool and AC Milan, the striker was given a lifeline at the Allianz Riviera when he was signed by then-manager Lucien Favre.

He scored 17 goals in 28 games in his first season as Nice mounted a surprise title challenge, leading the table for much of the season before finishing third and qualifying for the Champions League qualifying rounds.

He continued to impress the following season, but the team’s fortunes didn’t sustain and they tumbled down the league to finish eighth.

His contract was cancelled in January 2019 having failed to score for the club this season, freeing him up to join Marseille.

Balotelli has struggled to live up to the expectations set by his first explosive seasons playing for Inter and Manchester City.

He won a domestic and European treble at San Siro under Jose Mourinho in 2010, paving the way for a move to the Etihad where he won the 2012 Premier League.

He left the club to join Milan in 2013 having fallen out with boss Roberto Mancini.

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