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.

"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."

Copyright © 2009 All rights reserved. Provided by an company