Former Italy striker Mario Balotelli has joined Swiss club Sion on a two-year deal.

The 32-year-old spent last season with Adana Demirspor after leaving Monza, scoring 18 Turkish Super Lig goals

Much-travelled frontman Balotelli will be able to tick off another country he has played club football in, having sealed a move to Sion on Wednesday.

Sion sporting director Barthelemy Constantin said: "Mario Balotelli will bring us a lot offensively since he comes out of a full season and arrives with us with confidence. 

"He is the kind of striker we needed, with great determination. It is an honour to have him with us."

The former Inter, Manchester City and Milan man had been linked with a move to LaLiga club Valencia.

Sion are sixth in the Swiss Super League with eight points from six matches.

 

 

Sion are in talks with Mario Balotelli, according to the Swiss club's president.

Former Inter, Manchester City, Liverpool and Milan forward Balotelli spent last season in Turkey with Adana Demirspor.

The Italy international scored 18 Turkish Super Lig goals as the team finished ninth, with only Kasimpasa's Umut Bozok managing more strikes in the competition (20).

That tally included a stunning five-goal haul on the final day against Goztepe, making top-flight history for Adana Demirspor in the process.

Balotelli is under contract until 2024, though the 31-year-old seems to be pushing for a move away, having suggested he could move to LaLiga, with Valencia said to be interested.

However, Sion's president Christian Constantin has confirmed his team are in discussions with the player.

In an interview with the Swiss-German publication Blick, Constantin said: "It's true. We've been in talks for weeks.

"Today it is impossible for me to make a forecast about the chances of success of the transfer.

"We wanted to remain discreet, but the information apparently leaked in Italy. This is a signal that there is interest on both sides."

 

Signing Balotelli would represent a coup for Sion, who will be looking to improve on a seventh-place finish last season, with their Swiss Super League campaign starting on Sunday.

"If you only talk about talent, Mario had what it takes to win the Ballon d'Or," Constantin added.

Constantin also revealed Sion were interested in signing Balotelli back in 2016, before the forward moved to Nice.

"The first time we spoke to [Balotelli's former agent] Mino [Raiola] about Mario was in 2016, before he signed in Nice," Constantin added.

The president's son Barthelemy, Sion's sporting director, added: "We've been in contact with his agents for a long time and have a good relationship. We've done a few deals together in the past."

Mario Balotelli finished the Turkish Super Lig season in stunning fashion with the first five-goal haul in Adana Demirspor's top-flight history.

Ninth in the table heading into Sunday, Balotelli's ADS had little to play for against already-relegated Goztepe but put on a show.

Vincenzo Montella's side ran out 7-0 winners, with Balotelli hitting five to finish the season on 18 league goals – behind only Kasimpasa's Umut Bozok (20).

The Italy international's outstanding display represented a club first, while Alex in May 2011 had been the last Super Lig player to net five in a match, for Fenerbahce against Ankaragucu.

This was Balotelli's first hat-trick since scoring three for Manchester City against Aston Villa in December 2010, making him the first foreign player to hit a treble for ADS.

As if these achievements were not enough, Balotelli's fifth goal was an outrageous effort perhaps set to be considered for the FIFA Puskas Award.

Seven step-overs tied Atakan Cankaya – who had earlier scored an own goal – in knots, finally working space seemingly for a left-footed shot before the striker executed a sublime right-footed rabona finish across the goalkeeper and into the bottom-right corner.

"Five goals for me today," Balotelli posted on Instagram. "There was no better way to finish the championship! Thank you to everyone."

Mario Balotelli believes he can earn a dramatic Italy recall in time for the World Cup play-offs, according to his club boss Vincenzo Montella.

The former Inter, Manchester City and Liverpool striker scored 14 goals in 36 games for the Azzurri before his international career ground to a halt in 2018.

Despite his long-time ally Roberto Mancini being head coach of the Azzurri, there has been little hint of a return to Italy duty since Mancini gave him three caps early in his reign.

Those three appearances were Balotelli's first for Italy since the 2014 World Cup, and he has not been called into a squad since September 2018, with his club career taking him in the meantime from Nice onwards to Marseille, Brescia, Monza and currently Adana Demirspor in Turkey.

Balotelli has scored five Super Lig goals this season for a team who sit eighth in the table after 16 games.

Former Roma frontman Montella, who also played for Italy, has floated the idea that there could yet be another chapter in the story of Balotelli's Azzurri career.

"Balotelli has extraordinary technical qualities. He is a good guy who sometimes goes off a little. But I found him very motivated, and I believe that in his career he has never been as concentrated as this year with us," Montella told Italia 1's Tiki Taka programme.

"He is growing a lot, it is a pleasure to coach him. He has the obsession to return to the national team. He is motivated, he believes in it, he knows he has to work hard, but he knows he has three months to convince Mancini that he knows everything about him, his strengths and weaknesses."

 

Italy won Euro 2020 just five months ago but face a battle to get to the World Cup, knowing they must beat North Macedonia on March 24 to set up a decider against Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal or Turkey.

This is because, despite remaining unbeaten in qualifying so far, they finished only second to Switzerland in the group stage. Italy missed out on the 2018 World Cup, so to do so for a second successive time would be a major blow.

Montella said: "Mancini has done an extraordinary job since the beginning of his Azzurri adventure and winning the European Championship was a great thing. Getting to the World Cup will be difficult but Italy, in difficulties, always manage to bring out the best of its potential. I wish and hope that we will be able to qualify."

Mario Balotelli has completed a move to Turkish Super Lig side Adana Demirspor.

The 30-year-old striker spent 2020-21 with Monza in Serie B, where he scored six goals in 14 league appearances.

The former Manchester City forward has now joined the ambitious side from Adana, who secured promotion to Turkey's top flight last season.

The news was announced via a video released through the club's Twitter account.

Balotelli has now been signed to five different clubs since 2019, having spent three years with Nice after leaving Liverpool on a permanent deal in 2016.

The 36-cap Italy international will link up with former Napoli midfielder Gokhan Inler and ex-Montpellier star Younes Belhanda at the New Adana Stadium.

Balotelli was a three-time Serie A winner with Inter and was part of Jose Mourinho's treble-winning squad in 2009-10.

He then joined City, winning the FA Cup in 2010-11 and the Premier League title in 2011-12, before signing for Milan.

A single-season return to England with Liverpool came in 2014-15 before he went back to the Rossoneri on loan, after which he moved to Ligue 1.

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