By 90Min
February 15, 2019

Over ten years after leaving Arsenal for Barcelona, a 37-year-old Alexander Hleb bossed the midfield against his former side, as Belarusian champions BATE Borisov famously conquered the Gunners in the Europa League on Thursday; their first ever European knockout win. 

While it might seem to some, though, as if the midfielder simply dematerialised after that short-lived loan at Birmingham in 2011, and was brought out of the cryochamber just to beat Arsenal before disappearing into the wilderness again in a little over a week, he has actually had quite the storied career in the years since. 

The madness all kicked off when he completed a €15m move to Barcelona after falling out of favour under Arsene Wenger in 2008. Though rarely being seen in his first season at the Nou Camp, he was able to scandalously claim winners medals for a famous treble; culminating in a Champions League final win over Manchester United, in which he didn't feature. 

He'd follow a season-long return to Stuggart with a return to the Premier League in the second of three injury-ravaged loans that would spell the end for his Barcelona career, claiming a winners medal in the League Cup after Birmingham overcame Arsenal. 

ADRIAN DENNIS/GettyImages

He was allowed to leave permanently after managing just four appearances in a short-lived spell with Wolfsburg, and added Russia to his CV when he joined Krylia Sovetov Samara, where he would struggle with just eight appearances in 2012. 


Then, it was time for what would become his signature move - a return to BATE Borisov, a team he would leave and rejoin a further four times in the six years that followed, and claim six Belarusian league titles in the process, cutting a legendary figure at his boyhood club. 

It all culminated in a trip to Burger King with his mates after coming back to haunt the Gunners with a Europa League round of 32 victory in Borisov. He might have once been named Arsenal's player of the year for three years running - but I'll be damned if any of that success tasted as sweet as his burger on Friday morning. 

You May Like