“I still dream of the Ballon d’Or. I’m convinced it’s still possible.”
Who said that? Was it Franck Ribery, looking for his first after winning the UEFA Player of the Year award? Nope.
Was it possibly Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who if not for Ronaldo and Messi could be considered the best striker in the world? Sorry, wrong again.
The correct answer is………Newcastle winger Hatem Ben Arfa!
That’s right. The French winger believes that he still has a shot to win the coveted award as the world’s top footballer. He’s had a good start to the season, and has been a great boost for the Magpies. However, he’s…well…probably not even in the same ballpark as that award. Or even the same downtown area. Or maybe even the same city. Or…well, you get the idea.
“I know some will think that I’m mad” said Ben Arfa to the Mirror. “But I still dream of the Ballon d’Or. I’m convinced it’s still possible. It’s not forbidden to dream. I still believe that one day I’ll be the best player in the world. But my biggest victory will not be that one, it’ll be of becoming a well-rounded man after overcoming so many obstacles.”
I guess we have to hand him that. If that’s what he believes, then more power to him.
He also condemned his past behavior off the pitch, saying he’s slowly maturing into more of a model athlete and professional.
“I’ve disappointed a lot of people over the years, I’ve annoyed many too. But those people were right, I was not very professional. I think I’ve gradually changed as I’ve grown up. I’ve understood some basic stuff with regards to the strength that a community brings. At 26, I still have plenty of time in front of me. I’m not about retirement just yet.”
If the guy has the drive, then good on him. He has two goals and assist to his name this season in four matches of Premier League play, including the game-winner against Fulham and a hand in both goals of their 2-1 victory at Aston Villa this past weekend.
Not sure that’s exactly enough for the Ballon d’Or though. Just a hunch.