Balotelli: Nice still in title race

OGC Nice striker Mario Balotelli has not given up hope that his side can win the Ligue 1 title, but acknowledges that it won't be easy.

With nine matches remaining in the French top-flight, Nice find themselves five points behind league leaders Monaco and two behind second-placed Paris Saint-Germain.

Lucien Favre's side may be undefeated since losing a crucial fixture against Monaco six matches ago – but what remains of their league schedule is packed with quality opposition. Their last four matches of the season include PSG, Olympique de Marseille and Olympique Lyonnais.

Les Aiglons have not finished in the Ligue 1 top-three since 1975/76 when they were runners-up to AS Saint-Etienne and players and fans alike will be relishing the opportunity to do so.

"It's not easy because Monaco have a five-point lead over us," Balotelli told RMC. "But I don't play for anything else other than being first. It doesn't interest me to be second or third. I play to win.

"I want to win and I think we can do it. It's difficult, especially as we have some difficult games left, but we can do it."

The 26-year old's contribution to his side's season has been significant – scoring 10 goals in 16 appearances.

"Everything is going well," he continued, "I'm really good here. We have exceptional fans. They really encourage us at every game, and I thank them for it.

"It's a young team, younger than me. I've been really warmly welcomed and I'm very happy here."