'He is like Lionel Messi' - Cisse on Newcastle team-mate Ben Arfa

The Frenchman assisted both the striker's goals at the Hawthorns on Sunday before scoring himself and the Magpies No.9 is backing his team-mate for Euro 2012

Papiss Cisse has praised his Newcastle United team-mate Hatem Ben Arfa, comparing the attacker to Barcelona forward Lionel Messi.

The Frenchman produced a man of the match performance in a 3-1 victory over West Brom on Sunday, providing two assists and getting on the scoresheet.

And the display has encouraged Senegal forward Cisse to compare the 25-year-old to the Argentine, who is widely heralded as the best player in the world.

“He is a great player with a great range of skills,” the forward told reporters.

“Sometimes with the ball at his feet, he is like Lionel Messi. The ball really sticks to his feet.

"I really like that kind of player. He is the kind of player who can make the difference and that is really good for us.

"He is really good to play with. He played really well against West Brom and that is why we took the three points.”

Cisse is also backing the midfielder to prove himself at international level this summer and become a vital member of the France squad at Euro 2012.

“I am certain Hatem is capable of going to the Euros because he is really talented,” the forward continued.

"He is showing it every weekend. He did it at Arsenal and again against West Brom. If I were in the coach’s place, I would take him.”

The 26-year-old himself has been in blistering form and has scored five goals in England since his January move from Freiburg.

“English football seems to suit me - that is five goals now and I hope to score even more,” he said.

“The whole team played well and gave the attackers the chances to score a lot of goals. I always pray to God to give me the strength to be good on the pitch and do what I have to do.”

Cisse also revealed his dream to play on the continental stage with Newcastle and feels the Magpies have what it takes to qualify for the Champions League.

He continued: “My dream is to play in the Champions League. Right now we are on the right path to do that. We have to continue like this, keep picking up victories.

“We have got Liverpool at home at the weekend. It won’t be an easy match but we are going to do everything we can to win it.”

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