Lionel Messi is regarded as one of the best players in the world. He has been an inspiration to many of the players growing up in recent years. The Newcastle United midfielder Ben Arfa reckons that he could have been as good as Lionel Messi had he matured a little earlier. The 25-year-old recently moved to Newcastle after a lot of troubles in the French league. He was expected to be a gamble by the Newcastle United fans, but it has been a gamble that has paid off in recent times. The Frenchman has been one of the best players for Newcastle over the last two years.

Ben Arfa was spoken of by the media even before he started playing regular first-team football. He was even compared with the French legend Zidane. This coupled with a number of off the field incidents put a bad boy image on the player, and he never recovered from that before moving to Newcastle. He has now said that he would have been playing at an even higher level had he matured a little earlier, but he does not regret for the time lost because he still believes that he can make it up. His spectacular goals and recent form has even made him being linked with Chelsea over the last few months.

“I regret not being mature earlier, because I think that today I would be playing at a higher level. Perhaps I would be like [Messi] today. But I’ve still got time, I can catch him up. In my head, I’ve still got the 2014 World Cup. For me, it’s impossible I don’t play in it. The current generation has a lot of talented players. But I think they lack leaders,” said Ben Arfa. The player is expected to be part of the French squad for the 2014 World Cup.