Ex Gunner reveals that he regrets leaving Arsenal when he did

Alexander Hleb has admitted that his move away from Arsenal to Barcelona was a mistake.

The Belarusian was one of the fan favourites at Arsenal when he played for the club between 2005 and 2008.

He helped the Gunners to reach the final of the Champions League in 2006 and that Arsenal team was on the cusp of greatness.

However, in the summer of 2008, he received an offer from Barcelona and he decided to leave the Emirates and made the move to Catalunya.

His first season in the Spanish side was a successful one as he won the Champions League, La Liga and the Spanish Cup.

But he wasn’t as happy as he was at Arsenal and injury rocked his time in the Catalan side.

He has now opened up on that move and he told Arsenal via the Lockdown Podcast that he still cannot explain why he left the Gunners to join Barcelona, although he admitted that the Spanish side was the best team in the world at the time.

He said: “Many years later and I still think about it.

“I don’t understand. To this day I still don’t understand what happened or why I made the decision.

“Of course, Barcelona in that moment was the best team in the world but I was really happy at Arsenal at the time.

“I had friends, I enjoyed the coach, I was playing for one of the best teams, the fans, the stadium, everything.

“The fantastic championship, the Premier League, everything. Why I left, I don’t understand.

“Barca, of course, were the best team at the time and everybody wants something to try but really I was 100 per cent happy at Arsenal.

“I cried when I talked to Arsene [Wenger]. We talked in the holiday before I left and he told me he wanted to keep me and I was important.

“I cried. I didn’t know what to do in that moment.”

Tags Alexander Hleb


  1. I suspect he left because his agent probably persuaded him to so that his agent could make a lot of money out of the deal. I wish more players would stand up to their agents and make their own minds up if and when they want to leave.

  2. Life is full of ifs and buts
    He won trophies- is that a bad thing for him? Dwelling on the past can be counterproductive

    1. I think that’s the exact point he’s making and trying to get across.

      Trophies are great but maybe enjoying your footy and life is ultimately more important to some in the bigger scheme of things….each to their own

  3. The one that hurt me the most.. I remember why he left, he said “London was too noisy” yeah that’s it.

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