Hatem Ben Arfa on Newcastle ‘hell’, getting drunk and keeping door open for transfer

Hatem Ben Arfa
Hatem Ben Arfa

Hatem Ben Arfa has revealed he came close to retiring after ending his Newcastle United ‘hell’.

The enigmatic winger famously fell out of favour at Newcastle after a controversial spell with the Magpies.

It is a part of his career which still rankles with the French international, despite his new-found success back in his homeland.

In a wide-ranging interview, Ben Arfa revealed:

– Newcastle turned their back on him

– that he’s now in paradise

– how he won’t rule out a move to Paris St Germnain

– and how he just wanted to get drunk as he contemplated retiring last season

Ben Arfa has found form for Nice in Ligue 1 after initially being barred from playing for them last season because of FIFA regulations after he’d already turned out for Newcastle and Hull.

The six months without playing saw him consider quitting football.

“At that point, yes (I contemplated retiring),” he said.

“When I found out the league’s decision, I had an impulse.

“I told myself: ‘C’mon it’s good, let’s get drunk! They do not want me to play? Okay, bah leave me alone, I will stop everything. They will regret it later anyway.’ Yes, I wanted to chuck in everything, but not for too long.”

The 28-year-old’s move back to France came after he fell out of favour at Newcastle under Pardew, a period he admits he found hard.

“Hell is when everyone turns their back on you,” Ben Arfa explained during an interview with Onze Mondial.

“Well, no, hell is when you can’t see the end of the tunnel. You’re on your own, with no one to support you and you move forward in the fog. You don’t know where you’re going.

“You just know that you’re going in the wrong path. I’ve lived all of that.

“Now, I’m lucky to have a club (Nice) and especially a coach (Claude Puel) who support me.

“It’s paradise compared to what I went through. I don’t feel lonely anymore. I feel loved.”

Ben Arfa has hit 11 goals this season, and has seen his name linked with Inter Milan, AC Milan, PSG and Juventus.

And he admits the “door is always open” to any club who shows an interest this summer.

He added: “The door is always open for PSG. Moreover, it is open to all clubs. I do not close the door to anyone.”