Get your daily update and weekly newsletter by signing up today!


Ben Arfa – “I’m Not A Big Star, I Just Aspire To Be One”

9 years ago

Hatem Ben Arfa has been speaking to the press again and it makes happier reading for Newcastle fans this time, though possibly not for England.

With the England v France clash now only hours away, Ben Arfa had this to say about the match;

“We are not going into the game looking to lose, it’s not something we have considered, it’s not an option for the French”.

If you weren’t aware, Ben Arfa has been in the public gaze since childhood, not only did he attend the French Football Academy but there was also a high profile TV documentary series on French TV about the Academy and Hatem was arguably the star of the show with his ability and personality!

“I have lived with pressure and expectations throughout my career. From an early age when I first went to the French football academy at Clairefontaine people expected very big things from me.

But it was a big learning curve for me. The education I received was second to none, it prepared me in every way for a life as a professional footballer”.

Most importantly, Ben Arfa then focussed at length on Newcastle United and spoke very positively about life at St.James’ Park and about challenging for Champions League football next season….with Newcastle!

“Naturally it’s nice when people talk about you in glowing terms — but I’m not a big star. I just aspire to be one. I want to be the best I can and fulfil my own ambitions not just those of other people. I am improving all the time. I have had to contend with a very serious injury when my left leg was badly broken against Manchester City nearly two years ago.

That obviously set me back but I believe I have recovered well and I am beginning to reach a level that is getting me noticed.

But people are yet to see the best from Ben Arfa — that is still to come. I know that I can improve, I know that I will get better.

I’m happy where I am. I don’t take much notice of speculation. Other players thrive on that but I just prefer to concentrate on playing for Newcastle.

We surprised a few people last season. Naturally there was disappointment that we failed to secure a place in the Champions League and now have to settle for playing in the Europa League instead.

But we fought for a place in the CL until the death — it wasn’t for a lack of trying.

And this team will get better. If we can strengthen the squad over the summer there is no reason why we shouldn’t be challenging for Champions League football next season.

And there is no shame finishing above a club like Chelsea in the Premier League — they won the Champions League. For now though I’ll concentrate on France and the small matter of England”.

Hopefully Hatem will have learnt the cost of giving out conflicting messages as was the case with his interview a few days ago.
There has been much debate on whether to support England or Newcastle’s French players but maybe the best solution will be to take advantage of the FREE £20 BET which is on offer through our betting partner BETFAIR.

Why not use your FREE £20 BET to back both France and England to go through?

France to finish top of Group D with England second is currently 3.9-1 and England to finish top with France second is paying 4.8-1.


If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]

Have your say

© 2021 The Mag. All Rights Reserved. Design & Build by Mediaworks