Things to do in Nice
In this blog, we’ve already covered many of ideas of ‘Things to do in Nice’. We have revealed Nice’s myriad attractions, including the best beaches, day trips and, most recently, the finest art and culture to be found in this picturesque Côte d’Azur city.
What we’ve yet to mention, however, is OGC Nice, the city’s football team, who are currently flying high in third position in Ligue 1. Here are three reasons you should go and watch Les Aiglons (‘The Eaglets’) while you’re here in France.
They play in an ultra-modern stadium
Nice have played their football at the Allianz Rivieira, a state-of-the-art, 35,000 capacity stadium, since 2013. Located on Rue Jules Bianchi and constructed at a cost of €250 million, this eye-catching structure played host to four games at last summer’s European Championships, including Iceland’s shock win over England. French rugby club Toulon – winners of three Heineken Cups in 2013, 2014 and 2015 – also trot out there.
They’ve got Mario Balotelli
The maverick former Manchester City striker joined Nice in the summer after an ill-fated spell at Liverpool, where he managed just one league goal in 16 appearances. Since moving to France, the Italian has found a new lease of life, netting 10 times. Crowds never know what to expect from the unpredictable ‘Super Mario’; he’s already been sent off twice as a Nice player, but has inspired his team-mates to an unlikely title charge…
This is their best team since the 1950s
A traditionally unfashionable club who have had to live in the shadow of south coast neighbours Marseille for much of their history, Nice haven’t won a trophy since 1997. Before this season, they hadn’t challenged for the league title since their golden era of the 1950s, when they won ‘le championnat’ on four occasions.
But, masterminded by coach Lucien Favre and star players Balotelli, Alassane Plea and Jean Michaël Seri, Nice started 2016/17 like a house on fire, remaining unbeaten until the start of November. A series of draws after Christmas have handed the advantage to the much-richer Monaco and PSG, but Nice are still looking likely to qualify for the prestigious Champions League for the very first time.