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France Is So Stacked This Star Lit Ligue 1 On Fire And Still Didn’t Make The Team

Hatem Ben Arfa killed it for OGC Nice this season. The thought-to-be-burnt-out winger torched French football for 18 goals and six assists in all competitions, and he looked good doing it. Like, Messi good.

And before you get all uppity about me using the m-word, just check out the video below showcasing the goals he scored this year. They vary from penalties to “holy s***, I can’t believe he’s done that.”

Ben Arfa’s form this year would have had him walk into almost any national team in the world, but he has been left off of France’s provisional roster for the 2016 European Championships this summer.

Perhaps this is due to his age (29), or perhaps his troubled history has given him a reputation as damaged goods, but a logical person can take one look at the forwards France is bringing to the 2016 Euros and come to a conclusion that would be unavoidable even if those two postulates were true: France doesn’t need him, because they are absolutely stacked.

Taking a look at the French forwards featured on the countries’ provisional roster, we see everything from youthful wingers and strikers, established veterans, and world-class forwards.

There’s Kingsley Coman, the 19 year old who has already played for Juventus, PSG, and Bayern Munich and won eight trophies doing so; Andre-Pierre Gignac, the striker who is lighting Liga MX on fire with 32 goals in 46 appearances for Tigres; Antoine Griezmann, who carries Atletico Madrid’s attack, and who placed ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in our ranking of La Liga’s player of the year.

There’s Anthony Martial, the 20-year-old who led Manchester United in scoring in the Premier League; Dimitri Payet, arguably the most exciting player in the Premier League this year, and the scorer of this goal for France:

And Olivier Giroud.

Olivier Giroud looking like an idiot.

God damnit, Giroud. Photo: @FootballFunnys | Twitter

Looking at those players, it is incredibly hard to argue that Ben Arfa should take anyone’s place. He is either a worse investment of playing time because of his age, simply not as good, or plays a completely different style than every other player France has called up. He’s the odd man out, and the fact that he is such an incredibly talented odd man out should scare the crap out of France’s opponents.

France is one of the favorites to win Euro 2016, and the fact that Ben Arfa cannot get into the squad is only one reason why. France’s midfield is just as stacked as their attack, their defense isn’t that far behind, and they have one of the best goal keepers in the world. The whole tournament is taking place in France, each on of their games will be attended by tens of thousands of screaming supporters, and the last time France played a major tournament on home soil, they won it.

As a human being, I really feel for Hatem Ben Arga. He’s come back from irrelevance to have the season of his life, but he still wasn’t good enough to represent his home country as it hosts the second highest profile international tournament in the world. As a football fan, I just can’t wait to see France play.

Follow me on Twitter: @yetly

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