Soccer

Mario Balotelli takes a pay cut to stay at Nice after great season in France

Mario Balotelli got his career back on track last season, scoring 17 goals in 28 appearances for Nice. Things went so well at the French club that Balotelli has decided to stay, and Nice have decided they want him back, with the two agreeing to a new one-year contract.

When Balotelli went to Nice before last season, it looked like potentially his last chance in a major European league. His rough previous few seasons left him with little interest, but he and Nice agreed to a one-year deal. He needed to play well, or he most likely would have never been seen from at a high level again.

Play well he did. Balotelli was Nice's unquestioned top striker and finished fifth on the Ligue 1 goalscoring chart. It was in part due to Balotelli that Nice wound up third in the table, earning them a spot in next season's Champions League.

After all that, it made sense that they'd want to keep Balotelli, but their finances are somewhat limited and the Italian is used to being paid handsomely. Balotelli so badly wanted to stay with Nice after a great season, though, so he took less money for another season.

"The Italian international has made considerable financial efforts to continue the Nice adventure, as he always intended during this off-season, favoring the sporting aspect and the choice of his heart," the club said in a statement.

So Super Mario is staying at Nice. And we'll see him in the Champions League next season too.