The Frenchman is in awe of the way in which the Portuguese wins games singlehandedly for Los Blancos, but he feels his compatriots’ treble success should be recognised
Hatem Ben Arfa believes that while Cristiano Ronaldo has been “carrying Real Madrid on his own” this year, Franck Ribery would be a more worthy recipient of the Ballon d’Or.
Lionel Messi has also been shortlisted for the prestigious individual award but Ronaldo and Ribery are widely regarded as the clear frontrunners.
Ben Arfa has nothing but respect for Ronaldo’s remarkable goalscoring exploits with Madrid this year, with the Portuguese having netted 69 goals in total, but he feels that the key role Ribery played in Bayern Munich’s historic treble success last season should not go unrecognised.
“When you see the stats of Ronaldo, he is carrying Real Madrid on his own,” the Newcastle winger told L’Equipe.
“But if I had the power, I would give it to Ribery. He won everything with Bayern and contributed to their great season.”
Ben Arfa raised eyebrows recently when he claimed that he could one day be crowned the best player in the world and he was keen to put his comments into context.
“They asked me if I was dreaming about the Ballon d’Or,” the France international explained. “I said yes, like any player would. But this is not something that obsesses me.”
Newcastle are currently flying in the Premier League but Ben Arfa has seen little game time of late. However, even though the World Cup is looming large on the horizon, the 26-year-old insists that he is not considering a move away from St. James’ Park during the January transfer window.
“I do not think about Brazil,” Ben Arfa declared. “I only think about my club and to be good for my team.
“The team is doing well and it is normal that the manager (Alan Pardew) maintains that confidence in the team in place. Although when you’re a competitor, you want to be on the pitch.
“I give everything always, even if I am asked to play 10, 15 minutes. A departure from Newcastle? The question does not arise today. I do not think about it. I’m at Newcastle and I feel good. We’ll see.”