Ben Arfa Played With Seb Bassong At France Football Academy


Ben Arfa was brought up in one of the finest football academies – France’s Clairefontaine.

Hatem Ben Arfa – came through the Clairefontaine Academy

Some of France football’s best players came through the Academy, including Nicolas Anelka, Louis Saha, William Gallas and Thierry Henry, and there’s little doubt Newcastle will have their eye on players coming through that Academy at the moment.

Of course our bargain basement buy from Rennes a couple of years ago, center-back  Sebastien Bassong, also came through the Academy.    Seb played just one season at Newcastle, and he was Newcastle’s player of the season in our relegation year, but he then left for Spurs last summer at a fee of around £8M, which was around £7.5M profit for the Newcastle club in just 10 months – not too bad at all.

And it turns out that French International Hatem Ben Arfa played with Seb while they were both at the Clairefontaine.

Clairefontaine is in the Paris suburbs, and Ben Arfa today told the Evening Chronicle about life at the Academy and that he indeed played with Bassong:

Ben Arfa said:

“I played with Sebastian at the Academy.” “It is a very technically based center.” “We learned the main aspect of football which is working together as a team.

“I was there from 12 to 15, before that I lived in Paris with my family and then went to Lyon as a young player.” “My father was a footballer at a good level in Tunisia.”

Ben Arfa has 8 caps so far for his country with a couple of goals,  and it’s obvious the youngster is keen to play a lot more times for France.

And they will certainly need him, with French football in such a mess following a very embarrassing World Cup, in which the French players went on strike – and we’ll not even mention they didn’t win one game in the tournament and didn’t advance beyond the group stage.

The 23 year-old continued:

“I hope that I can play many times for France in the future and being at Newcastle I can do that.”

Ben Arfa has joined Sol Campbell in trying to be fit enough to make his debut in the home game against Blackpool a week tomorrow.

We have to hope the two of them plus our other new signing, Cheick Tiote from FC Twente, all make the squad for that game, and if we can get 3 points, we’ll be well positioned in the Premier League with 7 points from our first 4 games. That would be great!

Currently we are in 8th position in the league.

Comments welcome.


9 comments so far

  • Stuart

    Sep 3, 2010 at 1:11 PM

    Comment #1

    ‘and we’ll not even mention they didn’t win one game in the tournament and didn’t advance beyond the group stage.’

    You just did Ed haha.

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  • korn8

    Sep 3, 2010 at 1:13 PM

    Comment #2

    Hehe – good one, Ed 😉

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  • TheMightyOne

    Sep 3, 2010 at 1:15 PM

    Comment #3

    Bassong played for Metz not Rennes

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  • korn8

    Sep 3, 2010 at 1:16 PM

    Comment #4

    Norway just hammered France 2-1, doesn`t that say a bit about France? 😉
    We norwegians loved it though!
    Ben Arfa scored the goal for France btw. He looked like a cracking player, i also remember him playing against a norwegian club named Brann in the UEFA-cup, he terrorized them!

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  • Geordiedoonsooth

    Sep 3, 2010 at 1:21 PM

    Comment #5

    Hope he turns out better than Bassong & stays for more than 1 season

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  • Stuart

    Sep 3, 2010 at 1:23 PM

    Comment #6

    I didnt really care when Bassong left like, like Ed said £7.5m profit isn’t bad business.

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  • Davies

    Sep 3, 2010 at 1:47 PM

    Comment #7

    I really like Bassong. Don’t care about the money. Wish he’d stayed.

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  • jesus was a geordie

    Sep 3, 2010 at 5:04 PM

    Comment #8

    For the profit generated, the player we replaced him with (Willo) and the small price we bought Willo for, I think we did well selling Seb.

    Plus it allowed us to build the current team spirit as we knew all the players who were there wanted to be there!

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  • baro

    Sep 3, 2010 at 9:06 PM

    Comment #9

    We got a excellent profit for Bassong, but really hate that he left. We improved him, he became a beast than left. Haven’t liked him since then.

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