Hatem Ben Arfa’s former agent Frederic Guerra has slammed the former Premier League star for wasting his potential. He even claimed that the 35-year-old could’ve been a Ballon d’Or winner had he worked hard.
Ben Arfa is widely hailed as one of the most talented footballers of his generation. Yet, despite being blessed with enviable technical qualities, he has not managed to win the most desirable individual honors. The Frenchman’s former agent Guerra has pegged his underachievement down to his lackluster work ethic.
Speaking to French publication RMC Sport (via Sport Bible), Guerra said:
“It’s a psychological thing from his childhood. He was king, king, king. He was always told what he deserves but never told to work. I was convinced that I had a player that, if we worked on his mind, would win the Ballon d’Or. He was so talented. It’s a huge waste – maybe the biggest waste in football of the 21st century.
“There are plenty of players that were told early on that they would be pearls and still made it. Cristiano Ronaldo became a huge worker early on, Karim Benzema took exactly the same route. It takes work, talent is not enough. But his mentor, Michel Ouazine (advisor and representative) told him that talent was enough.”
Ben Arfa, who is currently plying his trade at Lille, has represented the likes of Lyon, Marseille, Newcastle United, and Paris Saint-Germain in his career. He has thus far played 427 games in club football, scoring 75 goals and providing 64 assists.
Hatem Ben Arfa scored a sensational FA Cup goal for Premier League club Newcastle United
Ben Arfa first tasted Premier League football in the summer of 2010, with him joining Newcastle United on a half-season loan from Marseille. In January 2011, Newcastle made his transfer permanent, signing him for a €6 million fee.
His footwork and intelligence impressed plenty, but it was his solo goal against Blackburn Rovers in the 2011-12 FA Cup third round that made him a cult hero. Receiving the ball just inside the opposition half, Ben Arfa went on a solo run, beating seven players on his way to scoring arguably the best-ever FA Cup goal. His wonder strike allowed the Premier League outfit to secure a 2-1 win over Blackburn.
Over four seasons at Newcastle, Ben Arfa dazzled his way to 13 goals and 12 assists in 76 Premier League appearances. He also played eight Premier League games for Hull City, but failed to register a goal or an assist for the Tigers.