Ben Arfa's Messi regret

Newcastle United star Hatem Ben Arfa feels he could have been playing at a level comparable to Lionel Messi, if not for problems earlier in his career.

Last Updated: 19/02/13 at 12:30 Post Comment

Hatem Ben Arfa: Regrets some early decisions

Hatem Ben Arfa: Regrets some early decisions

The one-time bad-boy of French football saw his career falter in France which preceded his move to St James' Park.

As a teenager at Lyon he was linked with a big-money move - but he shocked the country when he joined Marseille in 2008.

After falling out of favour at the Stade Velodrome he moved to England, where he has largely flourished and has shown some brilliance which reminded everyone of why he was so highly-rated as a youngster.

And he admits that he regrets not maturing earlier in his career.

"I regret not being mature earlier, because I think that today I would be playing at a higher level," he told Surface magazine in an interview to be published on Thursday.

"Perhaps I would be like [Messi] today. But I've still got time, I can catch him up."

Ben Arfa, who is back in full training with Newcastle following a lengthy hamstring lay-off, is hopeful he can help lead France to the World Cup in 2014.

"In my head, I've still got the 2014 World Cup. For me, it's impossible I don't play in it," he said.

"The current generation has a lot of talented players. But I think they lack leaders."

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ou can't blame De Gea for wanting to leave, he has enough to do in front of goal as it is as well as taking on the role of Man Utd's version of Derek Acorah in trying to contact and organise a defence that isn't there.

rodger's gusset
Van Gaal downbeat on De Gea

I

f you want to take six points off Arsenal, then that's a great strike force. Can't imagine either of them showing much for the rest of the season though...

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ooks like Real get their man, most likely at their own valuation, yet again. Resistance is futile.

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