Hleb, once of Arsenal, insists teammate Lionel Messi deserved the Ballon d'Or and told Sport of the Manchester United star: "The Portuguese deserved everything he received from journalists, but never as much as Messi.
"It's wrong he was given the Ballon d'Or. This shows that the people who voted are blind and have nothing to do with football.
"Snubbing Messi is the equivalent of showing a lack of respect for him as a genius.
"I have played many times against Cristiano Ronaldo when I was in the Premiership and I know how he plays. I know what he was capable of, but also know his limits.
"But since I came here I have learned to respect the genius of Messi.
"You cannot compare Cristiano Ronaldo with Messi. Definitely, you cannot."