Adriano Boin Date:14th September 2018 at 10:47pm
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Mario Balotelli has been fined by Nice for starting the season overweight.

The 28-year-old was roundly criticized for his performance in Italy’s 1-1 draw with Poland, and he was subsequently left in the stands by coach Roberto Mancini for the Azzurri’s match against Portugal three days later.

Reports indicated that Balotelli had returned to Nice on July 17 and weighed 103kg, with that number dropping to 99.7kg while on international duty. However, it’s a far cry from the 88kg needed for the striker to be at peak playing condition.

La Gazzetta dello Sport reports the French side have fined the Italian as a result, with President Jean-Pierre Rivera alluding to it.

“Mario will have a great season because we will put him in the best condition to do so, and because he is a great player,” he told Nice Matin.

“Nice don’t have a habit of treating their players differently. Mario put himself offside all on his own.”

Balotelli has only featured in one game for Nice this season, and was left out of the squad for their 2-1 victory over Rennes on Friday.