‘I was a cult hero of the Premier League – now I’ve quit football and excelled in another sport’

Hatem Ben Arfa is best remembered for his time at Newcastle United, where he became a cult hero, but the Frenchman has not played since 2022 professional football

A former Premier League star is now very comfortable in a new sport(Getty Images)

A former Premier League ace appears to have ended his football career and is now making waves on a new sporting stage.

Hatem Ben Arfa, once a shining star at Newcastle United, has yet to officially hang up his boots but has since fallen out with manager Jocelyn Gourvennec in 2022 He has not left the club since parting ways with Lille.

The talented playmaker, who has played for top clubs including Lyon, Marseille, Hull City, Nice and Paris Saint-Germain during his spell in England and France, is now 37 and has begun dabbling in the tennis-like sport of padel But playing on a more intimate court.

Impressively, Ben Arfa racked up 70 tournament wins in just one year. By the end of 2023, he is said to be ranked in the top 1,500 of 42,000 competitive players worldwide.

Roland Mermillod, a senior official at Padel Sports, told fans about Ben Arfa’s dedication to his new passion. “Hatem does nothing but that. He plays almost every day,” Memelod told Le Parisien.

Despite his impressive career on the football field, there was always a feeling that Ben Arfa did not live up to his immense potential. His health and lifestyle choices off the field have often drawn criticism from those in the football community.

The player’s former agent, Frederic Guerra, did not hesitate in a candid interview with RMC Sport. “This is a psychological issue from his childhood,” he said.

Cricket is growing in popularity and there are dedicated sports centers in London((Image credit: Getty))
Ben Arfa is often categorized as a player who has not lived up to his potential((Image credit: Getty))

“He is the king, the king, the king. He is always told he deserves it but never told to work hard. I am sure I have a player who, if we work as hard as he wants, will win the Ballon d’Or. “

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