Anybody would think that Alexander Hleb had previously worked as a derivatives trader in London’s square mile, the way he speaks about the hustle and bustle that accompanies life in England’s capital. The Belarusian simply had to wake up every morning and play football – hardly the type of stress that most of us endure every day, whether we live in London or not.
Nevertheless, the Daily Mail reports that the player is glad to have left nasty London with everyone rushing about, to join Barcelona right in the middle of the Spanish countryside. Rumour has it that the houses in the Catalan capital are half a mile apart, while a man travels round in a truck so that the Barca villagers can get their bread and cheese.
‘I am from Belarus and I was always with my family in December for Christmas and New Year, and it is very important,’ he said.
‘London was very hectic, it was really just football that helped me in that life.
‘Arsene Wenger, for me, is like a father. He gave me a lot and I learned a lot from him and I need to say thank you to him for the fact that I now play in Barcelona.’
Hleb added: ‘If Arsene Wenger stays at Arsenal, they will always play at the top. I think he is everything for Arsenal.’
Does Hleb want to thank Wenger principally because he didn’t stand in the way of Hleb’s move?! Arsenal fans, will you remember the player fondly or just someone who ended up taking the money and running to Spain?