Hatem Ben Arfa said he was ’emotional’ when he heard that his exile from the French national squad was at an end.
Called up this week for the matches against England and Germany, the former Newcastle winger thanked the manager for having ‘confidence’ in him, after his seven goals had helped force his way into the squad.
As for Didier Deschamps, he was keen to put in the past what happened between them at Marseille, the Head Coach declaring that ‘we disagreed on one point and I was wrong there’.
France legend Emmanuel Petit added his two euros to the debate, saying that it would ‘sadden’ him if a player of Hatem Ben Arfa’s ability wasn’t included when France host the Euros next summer.
Hatem Ben Arfa:
“I am very emotional about this call-up.
“I am really very happy to be able to return to the French national team and I want to thank the manager for having confidence in me, to call me up.”
“Hatem has enjoyed a very good start to the season and it is good to have him back with the national team.
“I do not have any problems with Hatem. We disagreed on one point and I was wrong there.
“He has the ability to make the difference with one move.”
“When I see what Hatem Ben Arfa is doing, I am not surprised by his call-up.
“It saddens me that a player like him could (potentially) miss the Euros. I want him to keep the same level of performance.
“Do you know many French players who can get the ball and dribble past three players when defences are tight? It’s difficult. It’s good to have a different profile to improve the team and I think Hatem Ben Arfa is like that.”