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50-50 Challenge: Real Madrid vs. Barcelona

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By ESPN Staff
Jul 20, 2008

Hleb: Fabregas could follow me

Alexander Hleb has hinted that former Arsenal team-mate Cesc Fabregas could join him at Barcelona.

Days before Hleb left the Premier League for La Liga he hit out at Fabregas, calling him 'selfish', in the same interview that he lambasted Gunners coach Arsene Wenger.

And the Belarus international is ready to incur the wrath of Wenger again as he attempts to lure Fabregas back to the side he left five years ago.

'Cesc Fabregas explained a lot of things to me about this club,' Hleb told Barca TV. 'His time in the academy with players like (Gerard) Pique, (Lionel) Messi and so on.

'He loves this club. Now he's at Arsenal, but who knows if in the future he'll come back to Barca?

'He is my best friend at Arsenal, together with (Mathieu) Flamini.'

Hleb is looking forward to linking up with another former Arsenal hero - Thierry Henry - and meeting the rest of his new team-mates.

'He's my friend,' he continued. 'We spent two years together. We understand each other and I'm very pleased to be back with him.

'The others? I know all of them because I've seen them on television and of course I like the way all of them play.

'I know that it's a fantastic team. With great players, great stars. What I want is to integrate myself, play some great football with them and, obviously, to win.'

Hleb supposedly recently criticised Wenger for the way he was used in the Arsenal team, but he has now expressed his gratitude for helping him develop into a more complete player during his three years at the Gunners.

But the midfielder could come back to haunt his former coach as, when reminded about the 2006 Champions League final in which the Gunners lost to Barcelona, he revealed that he is longing for the same final - and the same result - this year.

'Of course I remember it,' said Hleb. 'It is a very important game in my life. We lost but I think it was a great game.

'I hope to be able to win the Champions League with Barca - and meet Arsenal in the final this season.

'I really don't mind where I play. Where the coach tells me to, there I'll play.

'I learnt a lot at Arsenal with Arsene Wenger. He taught me to play in different positions and now I don't have any problem playing anywhere.

'Barca's playing style is fantastic. Barca's game and Arsenal's are the best in the world.

'I come from Arsenal and I know this attacking game. I hope to be able to practise it here now.'

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