MARIO BALOTELLI was forced to pay a fine for returning to Nice overweight – but still got a pay rise, it is understood.
Balotelli, 28, reportedly turned up for pre-season training and weighed in at a whopping 103kg.
According to L’Equipe, Nice were unhappy that the star managed to put on 15kg over the summer, taking him well above his optimum 88kg weight.
He has lost around half a stone since returning but is still some way off his prime, as witnessed by his dire performance in Italy’s draw with Poland and his complete lack of involvement in the defeat to Portugal.
The controversial star was booed off when substituted and head of the Polish FA Zibi Boniek said: “I wouldn’t send on a player who’s 15kg overweight.
“To say that Balotelli worked for the team is an outright lie. No-one said he was unfit. I don’t understand why that wasn’t noted.
“To be a great player, you have to always be fit. Balotelli is useless in this condition.”
And club president Jean-Pierre Rivere said: “Mario has been put offside by himself.”
But he added: “Mario will have a great season because we will put him in the best conditions and because he is a great player.”
Even though he was fined by his club, they also rewarded him for his loyalty to the club with an improved pay packet.
According to Gazetta, Balotelli received a new deal after his rumoured move to Marseille failed to materialise and he stuck with Nice.
Rivere said: “At last year’s biennial renewal, we predicted a cut for the second season in the event of a lack of European qualification.
“He would have left elsewhere, but he stayed, so we raised the salary, because finding a striker like that is expensive.”
Why always you, Mario?