Hleb: I behaved like a child

Belarus midfielder Alexander Hleb says beating Spain would be 'a miracle', and chides himself for his immature behaviour at Barcelona.

Hleb has been recalled to the Belarus squad for this Friday's World Cup 2014 qualifier against La Roja in Minsk.

“Spain are the best team in the world, who can beat them?” the 31-year-old began in an interview with Efe.

“They are pure talent. A draw would be great. A victory? Unrealistic, a miracle.”

Hleb was on Barca's books from 2008 to January this year but saw little action and had a difficult relationship with former boss Pep Guardiola, something he now regrets.

“I could have played more, but Guardiola relied on other players. We tried to find a common language. Now, I blame myself more.

“I was angry with him, and I behaved like a child. Now it makes me angry, but that's football.

“Xavi and Iniesta see the field better than any other players. During training sometimes I'd stop and smile watching Xavi. I'd ask: 'how is this possible?' It was a pleasure.”

Belarus have lost their opening two qualifiers to Georgia and France but Hleb's club BATE Borisov have made a splash in the Champions League, defeating Lille and Bayern Munich 3-1.

“In five minutes I reached an agreement with BATE. My injuries are gone and I'm enjoying football again. I've regained confidence and dare to do things with the ball.

“We want to work the miracle and qualify from the group stages in the Champions League. Football in Belarus needs money, so that talented players don't migrate.”
 

Tags Belarus Hleb Spain Xavi