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Ben Arfa On ‘France, Cabaye, Hazard and Fearing England’

9 years ago

Interviewed ahead of France’s opener against England, Hatem was asked whether he feared the English, “No, they are not scaring me”!

Forever in the spotlight back home it was  during Hatem Ben Arfa’s latest media appearance, this time on the French main channel TV – TF1, on a programme dedicated to football…sort of like football focus but bigger!

When it was put to Ben Arfa that the French team against England should have Cabaye in the starting 11 with Ben Arfa on the Bench –

“We will see, there is no problem even if I am a substitute, the most important is the team and winning the Euro”.

Asked about Ribery

“It‘s going well, within the group he seems calm, it’s obvious that he is in a good place and he has taken it to the pitch”.

Asked about England

“Yes they believe, they are proud and feel they can achieve something at the Euro but the public doubts the possibility of the team, they are traumatised at not winning anything but the premiership is very good, it’s only their national team who is under par”.

Asked if he is fearing the English

“No, they are not scaring me, however it will not be easy. In a very big competition like this one it will be very complicated but we have very big players”.

Asked: were you worried of not being in the list of the 23?

“At the very beginning I was but gradually during the training I felt more assured, I can’t really say why but somehow felt more assured. The objective is to win, give everything on the pitch and outside that to live the best we can. Everyone deep down is hoping to win it but no one is really talking about it”.

Asked about Hazard

“He has the qualities to succeed, it’s plain to see and also England is a good choice because for a footballer it’s great to play there. In a big club he may have to have a time to adapt but when he is well settled in the team he will show what he has shown in France”.

Very interesting to see how relaxed and confident Ben Arfa is these days, even being asked for his opinion on what kind of place Ribery is in, in terms of mental strength and commitment for the Euros.

Thanks as always to Pierre for the translation skills and all eyes will be on France’s last warm-up match and whether Cabaye and Ben Arfa will feature in the line-up which must be a knocking bet to closely resemble his planned starting eleven next Monday against England.

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