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Hatem Ben Arfa

Hatem Ben Arfa
Personal information
Full nameHatem Ben Arfa
Date of birth7 March 1987(age 30)
Place of birthClamart, France
Height1.78 m
Playing positionWinger
Club information
Current clubNewcastle United

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Hatem Ben Arfa ( ; born on 7 March 1987) is a French association football player of Tunisian descent who plays for English club Newcastle United in the Premier League. He plays as a winger, preferably on the left side, and an attacking midfielder. Ben Arfa has been described as "one of the best-rated talents in France", but has been criticized by the media and players alike for lacking discipline.

Ben Arfa started his career throughout various clubs in the Île-de-France region, having trained at AC Boulogne-Billancourt and Versailles. In 1999, he was selected to attend the Clairefontaine academy. Ben Arfa spent three years at the academy and, upon leaving, signed with Olympique Lyonnais, where he won four Ligue 1 titles. In his early career at Lyon, he played as a centre forward, but moved into a winger role during the 2007 08 season. In the summer of 2008, Ben Arfa signed with rivals Marseille for -11 million through a move which required the intervention of the Ligue de Football Professionnel. With Marseille, he won the 2009 10 league title, his fifth overall, as well as the Coupe de la Ligue in 2010. After two years at Marseille, Ben Arfa joined English club Newcastle United on loan for the 2010 11 season with a view to a permanent deal. In January 2011, the loan deal was made permanent.

Ben Arfa is a former French youth international having played at all levels. At under-17 level, he was a part of the team that won the 2004 UEFA European Under-17 Football Championship. Ben Arfa was called up to the senior team for the first time in October 2007 for a UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying match against the Faroe Islands. He made his debut in the match and also scored his first goal as well in a 6 0 win.

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