Hatem Ben Arfa
Hatem Ben Arfa hopes to secure a place in history alongside Pele and Maradona. [Reuters]

Newcastle United midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa has always been a confident individual but it seems he truly believes that he has the talent to be remembered as one of the greatest footballers to ever grace the game.

The French winger has started the season in superb fashion and has always shown huge potential throughout his career, but it seems he has high hopes for the remainder of his career.

Ben Arfa was a prodigious talent as a youngster coming through the Lyon academy but despite earning his first cap for France at just 20, he has gone on to play just 12 more times for his country.

Still just 26 years old he has plenty of time to make his mark on the game and it seems he has high hopes that one day he will be mentioned in the same breath as some of the greatest of all time.

"People will think I'm crazy, but I still dream of winning the Ballon d'Or," Ben Arfa told France Football. "I'm sure it's still possible. In 20 or 30 years, I want my name to be mentioned alongside those of Platini, Zidane, Pele or Maradona."

Whether he can fulfil his talent is still debateable but the Newcastle midfielder is brutally honest in assessing why his career has yet to flourish.

"I understand that for a long time modesty was not really my thing," explained the French midfielder. "I thought my talent alone was enough. I have been told since I was little that I was the best, I believed it. It took some time and some maturity before I realised that I had lost my way and that I was deceiving myself.

"I disappointed a lot of people over the past year, I even annoyed them too, no doubt. I was not very professional but I have gradually changed and now I have grown up."

Newcastle supporters will hope that Ben Arfa can find consistency going forward as he has shown glimpses in his three years on Tyneside that he can be a truly world class winger.