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16.07.2008 14:30

Hleb will bring versatility


Aleksandr Hleb will bring technique, strength and awareness to Barça in the 2008-09 season after perfecting his craft during successful spells with VfB Stuttgart and Arsenal.

The latest Blaugrana signing, who was born in Minsk 27 years ago on May 1, 1981, is the second midfielder to join this summer after the club bought Seydou Keita from Sevilla. Able to play with both feet, Hleb will give Pep Guardiola different options with his versatility.

Making a name

Hleb moved to the Bundesliga in 2000-01 when he left FC BATE Borisov to join VfB Stuttgart. That is where he began to make his name and spent five seasons with the club.

Growing with the Gunners

13_-_Alexander_HLEB.jpgIn 2005, Arsenal moved to sign him and he quickly became an integral part of the Gunners' side. In 2007-08, he helped the team perform well as part of a midfield combination alongside Cesc Fàbregas and Mathieu Flamini. For two seasons at Arsenal, he played alongside Thierry Henry, who he will now team up with again at Camp Nou.

Playing in Paris

Alongside Henry in 2006, Hleb played for Arsenal in the Champions League final against Barcelona in Paris. After a game in which he stood out, the Belarussian was substituted for José Antonio Reyes in the 85th minute.
Hleb will bring versatility
First Belorussian
While Seydou Keita will become the first player from Mali to represent Barça, Hleb will be the first Belorussian to play for the club. In fact, there has only ever been one player from the former Soviet Union to play for the Blaugrana as Igor Korneiev appeared during the 1994-95 campaign.

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