Ben Arfa: Revival at Nice a miracle

Valverde faces up to the reality of Copa del Rey final defeat at the hands of Valencia

Hatem Ben Arfa has described his final months in England with Hull City as a nightmare and claims that he still has to fulfill his true potential.

In an interview with L'Equipe, the 29-year-old revealed that he regards the revival of his career at Nice as a miracle after his four years at Newcastle ended in an unsuccessful loan spell with the Tigers.

Ben Arfa left Hull without notice and after manager Steve Bruce admitted to not knowing his whereabouts, the Magpies terminated the contract.

In January last year, a lifeline in the form of a potential contract with Nice was offered but a FIFA regulation preventing players for representing more than two clubs in a single season halted the midfielder's return to first-team football.

Despite this obstacle, the Ligue 1 club's interest in the France international remained and eventually signed him just before the start of the season.

Since then, there has been no looking back for Ben Arfa. He has been an inspirational force in the team, scoring 17 goals and providing five assists in 31 appearances, helping Les Aiglons to the brink of a Champions League place.

"In Hull I was in a hole," he said. "I really hit bottom – I saw black. I was in a nightmare. For me, it was over.

"Then I told myself that I could not accept that. But it was very, very difficult to look up. So yes, you can call it a miracle. Because I fought; I really struggled.

"I try to fulfill myself as a man; this requires my footballing craft. I have a potential, I want to make the most of it. I would not be able to hide from that if I left to go to the Far East, it would be over.

"I would have had it on my conscience. I would never have been quiet. I would constantly tell myself: 'You still had the talent, you could do better'. I would not have been able to accept it.

"My career is sort of roller coaster with lots of lows, many trials and today the nice weather has arrived. I hope it will continue. Anyway, I do not see how it could not continue.

"I work a lot, I have my momentum and it will be very difficult to stop."