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Premier League cult hero is living a wild life outside of football, he hasn't even retired

Premier League cult hero is living a wild life outside of football, he hasn't even retired

Former Newcastle United star Hatem Ben Arfa has been in the news lately for his activities outside of football.

Hatem Ben Arfa is living a very different life a decade on from his incredible solo goal for Newcastle United against Bolton Wanderers.

Ben Arfa would have surely won the goal of the season award had his teammate Papiss Cisse not scored a near-impossible goal against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

The France international initially joined Newcastle on loan from Marseille but signed permanently despite suffering a broken leg early into his spell.

Ben Arfa helped Newcastle finish fifth in the 2011/12 season under Alan Pardew and ended up making 86 appearances, scoring 14 goals.

He had a forgettable loan spell with Hull City before returning to France with Nice, enjoying a superb, 17-goal season in the 2015/16 campaign.

Image: Getty
Image: Getty

A move to PSG followed but the stint was plagued by problems and he went 15 months without playing.

He later signed for Rennes on a free and beat his former side in the Coupe de France final on penalties.

Ben Arfa went on to turn out for Real Valladolid, Bordeaux and Lille, where he was suspended following a row with manager Jocelyn Gourvennec.

Image: Getty
Image: Getty

The 36-year-old hasn't officially retired from football but has been without a club ever since his six-month contract expired.

But the free agent has been keeping himself extremely busy and picked up another sporting hobby.

According to French outlet Le Parisien, Ben Arfa now trains and plays padel tennis on a daily basis.

The ex Lyon winger has taken to the sport tremendously though, having won a staggering 70 tournaments in one calendar year.

Image: Le Parisien
Image: Le Parisien

Ben Arfa's performances mean he finds himself inside the top 1500 ranked competitive padel tennis players out of 42,000.

In terms of football though, with the ability he had, Ben Arfa is an example unfulfilled potential.

In fact, his former agent of four years, Frederic Guerra, believes he is "the biggest waste in football" of this era and wishes he applied himself better.

He told: RMC Sport: "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."

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Premier League, Newcastle United