Hleb opens up on his Barca failure: 'It was all my fault'
- Hleb signed for Barca back in 2008.
- His time in Catalonia is deemed as a failure.
- In a recent interview, Alexander revealed the reason behind struggles at Camp Nou.
Alexander Hleb is perhaps one of the most bizarre transfers in Barcelona's history. After signing from Arsenal for an initial €15m back in 2008. However, he ended up playing only 36 games during his time in Catalonia as he spent the last three years of his contract on loan at different clubs.
In a recent interview to Planet Football, the Belarus international touched on his failure to become a regular at Camp Nou:
"It was all my fault," he says. "I was nervous because of the things that were going on in my life at that time and I didn’t really listen to anyone.
"Guardiola was a young coach with no experience of managing any first teams so he probably couldn’t find the right words as quickly as Wenger. He needed that support himself.
"I remember Numancia beating us in the opening game of the season. All the players were about to join their national teams so I asked Guardiola when I had to return to Barcelona. His answer? ‘Alex, I might not even be here when you come back!’
"But he found his support. Players were behind him. Especially the Spanish guys – Puyol, Iniesta, Xavi and others."
'In May, we were playing Manchester United in the Champions League final and Guardiola left me out of the squad. It was absolutely devastating. I remember talking with Henry, and he said, ‘I get it, I get it. But be stronger than this.’
"But I still felt like there was a knife in my back. I never spoke to Guardiola after that. I could understand him because I didn’t behave well enough myself. But it was incredibly painful.”
The midfielder also touched on his departure from the Gunners:
"It’s still difficult for me to explain why I left Arsenal," Hleb says. "I was absolutely happy there. Arsene completely trusted me, it was idyllic. And then I decided to leave.
"I was on vacation and agents and managers convinced me that I had to go to Barcelona. To be honest, I didn’t really understand what I was doing. At some point, I realised, ‘Oh god! I’m leaving Arsenal!’
"When Arsene said that it was a matter of hours, I felt devastated. It was really hard for me to accept that. Wenger did everything to make me stay at Arsenal.
"He even texted me as I was fishing. ‘Alex, I won’t let you go, we need you here.’ I cried when I read it."
Do you think Hleb perhaps deserved another chance?