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Alex Hleb: I cried over Arsenal exit; most players regret leaving

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“It’s still difficult for me to explain why I left Arsenal,” Hleb says.

Yet what would be a dream move for most players turned out to be an utter disaster for Hleb, who spent just one year at Barcelona before leaving loan to Stuttgart and never returning to Spain.

To be honest, I didn’t really understand what I was doing.

Alexander Hleb might not be the first name that springs to mind when you think of the 2006 Arsenal team which came so close to winning the first Champions League trophy in club’s history.

Arsene completely trusted me, it was idyllic.

‘Alex, I won’t let you go, we need you here.’ I cried when I read it.” Hleb reckons he is one of many players who’ve regretted leaving Arsenal and Wenger behind over the years, but his relationship with the Gunners boss survived the transfer.

But it was Arsenal where the versatile Belarusian midfielder played the best football in his career – and eventually earned himself a £12million move to Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona in the summer of 2008.
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