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Alex Hleb still regrets leaving Arsenal for Barcelona

Alex Hleb admits he still regrets leaving Arsenal in 2008 for Barcelona.

The midfielder's decision was one of the most controversial of the Arsene Wenger era.

He told arsenal.com: "Many years later and I still think about it," Hleb said. "I don't understand. To this day I still don't understand what happened or why I made the decision.

"Of course, Barcelona in that moment was the best team in the world but I was really happy at Arsenal at the time. I had friends, I enjoyed the coach, I was playing for one of the best teams, the fans, the stadium, everything! The fantastic championship, the Premier League, everything!

"Why I left, I don't understand. Barca, of course, were the best team at the time and everybody wants something to try but really I was 100 per cent happy at Arsenal.

"I cried when I talked to Arsene. We talked in the holiday before I left and he told me he wanted to keep me and I was important. I cried. I didn't know what to do in that moment.

"Of course, Barca is a fantastic team. I won titles and everything but I didn't play as much as I did at Arsenal. This is only my mistake because at the time, a lot of things happened in my private life. I started very nervously [at Barcelona]. Always aggressive. It was only my mistake. "

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Paul Vegas

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