Italian striker Mario Balotelli was labelled as moody, individual and difficult to talk to by Nice teammate Valentin Eysseric on Friday.

The 24-year-old was also careful to balance his words by adding that Balotelli was clearly “The best (footballer at Nice), the fastest and most skillful”.

But Balotelli critics at some of his previous clubs such as Liverpool or AC Milan may raise an eyebrow at his other comments.

“When something goes wrong he lets his head drop, he starts grumbling and can be difficult to talk to,” Eysseric said.

Eysseric was talking within the context of having started Nice’s last game, a 1-0 win at Saint Etienne, after the Italian began on the bench following a strop at the end of Nice’s 4-0 defeat by Monaco in their previous game.

“He was angry and upset after the (Monaco) game 

“Maybe right now with my level of commitment to the team, the boss (coach Lucien Favre) thinks I’m doing more than Mario,” he said.

“It’s a great pity he has this tendency to let his head drop.”

Balotelli has been highly influential in Favre’s first season at Nice, who are level on points with second placed PSG in Ligue 1 just three points behind leaders Monaco.

The early season pace setters will likely miss Balotelli’s contribution away at Rennes this weekend as the striker is running a fever. – Agence France-Presse

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