Fans turn out in droves to welcome Balotelli to Nice

Fans turn out in droves to welcome Balotelli to Nice

02/09/2016 at 10:48Updated 02/09/2016 at 11:48

Hundreds of Nice fans turned out to Mario Balotelli's first training session with the club.

The 26-year-old landed in France after a troubled summer that saw him linked to dozens of teams all over Europe.

His inaugural training with Nice, where he was the first to show up on the pitch, was attended by a crowd of scores of enthusiastic fans, who were there to see him play and ask for autographs and selfies.

The player himself seemed to be in a good mood, smiling to everyone and proving affable with the supporters and the staff.

“We've never seen anything like it, especially on a Thursday morning,” said Nice ultras spokesman Gregory Massabo, as reported by the Gazzetta dello Sport. “Normally there are five or six people at the most.

“For him, there were already 200 of us. It's like we were already in the stadium.”

Mario Balotelli with his new Nice team-mates

Mario Balotelli with his new Nice team-matesAFP

His signing, which completes a remarkable transfer campaign for the Ligue 1 team alongside those of Dante and Younes Belhanda, was greeted enthusiastically by the local press.

“You can tell he is of a superior level,” writes Nice Matin's editor William Humberset. “He is our [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic. This year Nice can expect something more than fourth place and a nice showing in the Europa League.”