Ben Arfa wants to match Messi, Ronaldo


Nice attacker Hatem Ben Arfa is confident he has what it takes to reach the same level as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ben Arfa enjoyed an impressive 2015-16 campaign, leading Nice to fourth place in the Ligue 1 table with 17 goals in 34 games.

It was not enough to earn him a berth in the France squad for Euro 2016 on home soil, but that disappointment has not stopped the former Lyon, Marseille and Newcastle man from setting some lofty targets.

"I am far away from reaching the level of Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, but I still have a number of years to catch them. That is my goal," the 29-year-old told Le Parisien.

"I am not at my best just yet. Everything is possible for me. I feel like I am 24 or 25. I am at an age where I have matured. I have developed and I am ready to take the next step.

"I have found a new strength. I have found peace and tranquillity. I am still getting better and working hard to get there. I am convinced that I will get there.

"There are a lot of similarities between Messi and me, the way we dribble and look out there on the pitch. But we each have our own game.

"I am fully focused on football right now. I had a different focus before. This is all part of my development."

Barcelona and Lyon among the clubs rumoured to interested in signing Ben Arfa on a free transfer when his contract with Nice expires at the end of June.