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."

Related News

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

W

hy don't you call in Becks as well...and we will all have a lovely tea party!

kimosabi
United: Scholes helping out

M

ourinho is just a good-looking version of Allardyce (Fit Sam?). Clearly 19th century football isn't such a big deal after all?

Ezy_Rider
Chelsea Killed The Game Instead Of Playing It

S

tay put, Pep. Timothy Sherwood has this under control.

slowgraffiti
Guardiola plans Bayern stay

Footer 365

Premier League: Chelsea trio Mourinho, Faria and Ramires charged with misconduct

Chelsea trio Jose Mourinho, Rui Faria and Ramires have all been charged with misconduct by the Football Association.

Manchester United's Adnan Januzaj chooses Belgium over England and Kosovo

Manchester United youngster Adnan Januzaj has chosen to represent Belgium at international level.

World Cup: Copacabana riots cast further shadow over Brazil 2014 preparations

With 50 days to go until the World Cup, riots have broken out around Rio de Janeiro's famous Copacabana beach.

Mail Box

Of Course People Remember How You Won

Some have said that it doesn't matter how Chelsea played as long as they won, but is that true? Plus, we've found the one chap who enjoyed Tuesday's game...

Chelsea Got A Result, What's The Problem?

There is plenty of 'that's 90 minutes I'll never get back' sentiment about Chelsea's 'performance' in Madrid, but at least one person thinks they did what was required...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property