Champions League: “Money allows you to buy great players but not a team,” Mario Balotelli said on French television before his team, Nice, played high-spending Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1 on Sunday.
Balotelli mocked PSG for their elimination by Real Madrid in the last 16 of the Champions League.
“It’s always shameful to see a big team like PSG go out of the Champions League, but Real were better,” the Italian striker said.
“Money doesn’t make a team,” he added.
Asked what he expected on Sunday, Balotelli said: “To be honest I haven’t watched PSG this season, apart from their last match against Real Madrid. They deserved to lose.”
Balotelli, who is expected to leave Nice at the end of the season, said he was looking forward to Sunday’s Champions League game, but was not awed by PSG.
“I love the feel of this sort of match, even though I think we should have this atmosphere every weekend and not just against PSG,” Balotelli said.
“Paris, is like Guingamp, a team in Ligue 1. I do not care that is is PSG. Sure, they are a big team because they have big players, but so do Lyon and Marseille. I don’t make a distinction.”
He said Neymar’s Champions League absence weakened PSG.
“Paris without Neymar, they aren’t the same team. He’s one of the three best players in the world.”
Balotelli also compared Edinson Cavani, who has become PSG’s all-time top scorer in Ligue 1, unfavourably with the man the Uruguayan overtook, Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
“With all the respect I have for Cavani, who is a top player, Zlatan is in another dimension,” said Balotelli who shares an agent, Mino Raiola, with Ibra.