Hatem Ben Arfa (foto: /)
Former professional footballer Hatem Ben Arfa, at 36, is taking on competitive sports again, but this time he's trading the soccer field for the padel court.
The ex-French international, known for his football prowess, is now deeply immersed in padel, a racquet sport that has captured his interest more than football ever did. "He's completely devoted to it, playing almost daily," shared referee Roland Mermillod, who has seen Ben Arfa in action on the padel court, in a conversation with Le Parisien.
Ben Arfa's last appearance in professional football was on April 2nd, 2022, in a goalless match between Lille and Bordeaux.
His football career saw a tumultuous end following a heated exchange with his then-coach Jocelyn Gourvennec. Post this incident, as reported by RMC, Ben Arfa never returned to the professional football scene and his contract with LOSC concluded in July of the same year.
Now, Ben Arfa's agility and speed are being showcased in padel. His transition to this new sport has been successful; he is currently ranked 1342nd among 42,300 competitive padel players in France. This ranking is a testament to his enduring athleticism and his ability to excel in a new sporting domain after his football career.