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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hould have stayed because we carried him for 6.5 years. And then he has a breakthrough season, and was gone soon after. MU fans, you would be as disgusted had C Ronaldo left in 2007 and not 2009.

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ood grief. Someone guessed that the form English player at the moment might be in his national side with some other players? And that's espionage? Now if they discovered that Emile Heskey was going to be in the starting line up.... at right back.... THAT would be espionage. Give it a rest Roy.

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e may get away with if Liverpool can swap the video with one of Skrtel dancing or something, but if they review the one shown on TV he's screwed.

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