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Ex-Premier League star slapped Hatem Ben Arfa on the head for not playing properly and only trying to dribble past him

Ex-Premier League star slapped Hatem Ben Arfa on the head for not playing properly and only trying to dribble past him

Ben Arfa was a nightmare for defenders.

A former Premier League defender has revealed what he did to Hatem Ben Arfa because the one-time Newcastle ace 'wasn't playing properly'.

Ben Arfa will always be remembered as a 'what if' player by Premier League fans, a young star who had the world at his feet but never reached his full potential.

The French winger was often an infuriating player to watch, but while playing for Newcastle between 2011 and 2014 he provided moments of magic that supporters at St James' Park will never forget.

His incredible solo goal against Bolton in 2012 was a prime example of Ben Arfa's extraordinary talent, as his low centre of gravity, agility and nimble feet made him near-impossible for defenders to get the ball off him.

Former Newcastle, Tottenham and Norwich defender Sebastien Bassong knows exactly what it's like to face Ben Arfa.

The ex-Cameroon international faced some legendary attackers during his Premier League career including Didier Drogba, but he admitted that he always struggled more against small, quick attackers like Ben Arfa.

"I played against him [Ben Arfa] in the Premier League when he was at Newcastle and I was at Tottenham," Bassong - who met Ben Arfa as a youngster while training at the national French football centre at Clairefontaine - told RMC Sport.

Hatem Ben Arfa is a cult hero at Newcastle (

"As a little anecdote, the only time I played against him in England, he came on and wanted to dribble past me more than play for the team.

"I slapped him on the back of the head and told him to play properly!

"He kept saying: 'I’m going to beat you, I’m going to beat you!' Playing against him… he was my brother."

Bassong told the story with a smile on his face, showing the friendship the duo share.

After leaving Newcastle in 2015, Ben Arfa had unsuccessful stints with Nice, Paris Saint-Germain, Rennes, Real Valladolid, Bordeaux and Lille.

He left Lille in 2022 after falling out with his manager and has been a free agent ever since. The 36-year-old hasn't officially retired, and spends much of his free time playing padel.

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Newcastle United, Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur