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16.07.2008 22:23

Titles: a Belarusian obsession

Roger Bogunyà

Alexander Hleb only has thoughts of titles. The first Belarusian ever to play for Barça has said in his presentation that playing for Barça is like a dream come true and claims that if he is here, it is because he is here to win things.

There seems to be one thing and one thing only on the Belarusian’s mind. Time and again he repeated the same thing: “I want to win titles, titles are my priority.” It is with this obsession that Alexander Hleb has arrived at FC Barcelona, where he was presented on Wednesday in a press conference also attended by Pep Guardiola, Txiki Beguiristain and Joan Laporta.

The Barça president said the Belarusian “has fought at all times to be able to join FC Barcelona, he had offers from other clubs but the director of football should be congratulated for a job well done”.

“I can play in any position”

QM3D3606.jpgNot only is he eager for titles, but Hleb also spoke about what he can do for FC Barcelona. “I think I can play in any position” he said. “Like I did in recent seasons for Arsenal.” With a smile, he added that he would even go in goal if he had to.

Versatility impresses Txiki and Guardiola

QM3D3689.jpgBoth Pep Guardiola and Txiki Beguiristain commented on the player’s versatility. Barça’s new manager said “he can play on either of the two wings, or in the middle and can even play as a false centre forward … it is important for a manager to have two or three versatile players like that, players like Iniesta”.

Barça profile

QM3D3882.jpgGuardiola went on to say that Hleb has the prefect profile for Barça, being “of high quality, very skilful, intelligent and able to move well.” He is delighted with his new acquisition and feels he has signed a player that “knows how to play, who understands football … he will bring verticality and most importantly, versatility, he will generate a lot of team football.”

A long-term target

Txiki Beguiristain admitted that the club has been chasing this player for many years. “Since we came to Barça, five years ago, we have been following his progress. We already had good reports of him from when he was at Stuttgart” he said of a player who is, at long last, on Barça’s books.
Titles: a Belarusian obsession
Henry in presence
One of Hleb’s new colleagues at FC Barcelona, Thierry Henry, was in the hall for the player’s presentation. The Belarusian feels that the French international will help him settle into the club, because the two players played alongside each other for two seasons at Premiership side Arsenal, in 2005/06 and 2006/07.

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