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The Newcastle star has started the season with a flourish and feels that his increased professionalism could yet see him go on to be crowned the world's best player

Newcastle winger Hatem Ben Arfa is "convinced" that he can still go on to win the Ballon d'Or.

The 26-year-old has impressed with his start to the season and believes that he has the ability to still become the world's best player after a rocky start to his career.

He told the Daily Mirror: "I know some will think that I'm mad but I still dream of the Ballon d'Or. I'm convinced it's still possible.

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"It's not forbidden to dream. I still believe that one day I'll be the best player in the world but my biggest victory will not be that one, it'll be of becoming a well-rounded man after overcoming so many obstacles."

Ben Arfa admits that he has not been a model professional but thinks that he has "grown up" and is ready to set the footballing world alight.

"I've disappointed a lot of people over the years," he continued. "I've annoyed many, too, but those people were right; I was not very professional.

"I think I've gradually changed as I've grown up. I've understood some basic stuff with regards to the strength that a community brings.

"At 26, I still have plenty of time in front of me. I'm not about retirement just yet."

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