Aliaksandr Hleb: BATE is like a family

08 may 2013 10:30

Aliaksandr Hleb: BATE is like a family

- After Bayern - Barcelona 4:0. It is the end of great Barcelona?

- Definitely not. This is sport. One single game turned for Barcelona this way. Such things happen to any club, no matter if it is big or small. People say the hero is not the one who never fell, but the one who fell and stood up quickly. Barcelona proved many times the team can do it. As for the game itself, FC Bayern did not leave any chance to the Spanish side. It was a fantastic performance. I think FC Bayern was even better than they can.

- You were part of the team who won everything in 2008/2009 season. What was the key to the success? Atmosphere? Players? Guardiola?

- I think players first and foremost. Barcelona had fantastic players that showed amazing football. That was something special. And the atmosphere was perfect as well.

- Do you agree that Barcelona needs Guardiola now because Vilanova is not the same?

- I disagree with both statements. I do not think that the current Barcelona needs Guardiola. And I also believe that Vilanova is a very good coach. He does his job well. If I were in Barcelona's board of directors, I would not rush with decisions. Vilanova is a good head coach and copes with his tasks well. The coach broke several big records during his short time as Barcelona coach.

- Who will win Champions League this season and why?

- This is a hard question to answer for me. Both Bayern and Borussia Dortmund perform very well. But the teams are so different that it is difficult to compare. I would not dare to predict who will win.

- Which coach you prefer - Guardiola or Wenger?

- Wenger for sure. He is an outstanding coach.

- Why Wenger has won nothing in recent years? Why Arsenal can't win league, cup or Champions League? 

- I am sorry for Arsene. Every year he finds talented guys and turns them into superstars. But the problem is that as they grew into superstars and other clubs rush to buy them. Season after season Arsenal loses leaders. As a result the club lacks stability. Arsenal players just do not have enough time to play together enough and to feel each other.

- In Arsenal you were one of the best players. Why you couldn't repeat that in Barcelona, Wolfsburg, Birmingham and Krylia Sowietow?

- Take my word, coach's confidence is an important thing for any player. This was not the case with me everywhere. Injuries also affected my career. Sometimes I just took decisions that proved to be not very successful. But it is only know that you know about that.

- Do you follow Arsenal's games? What do you think of Wojciech Szczesny and Łukasz Fabianski?

- Yes, always watch Arsenal if I have a chance. Wojciech and Lukasz are nice guys. When I played for Arsenal, Fabianski trained with me in the first team, and Szczesny was with reserves. Both are very talented goalkeepers. You cannot become an Arsenal player if you are not good enough.

- Why have you decided to come back to BATE?

- Last summer I had a choice to make. I had several options of middle-tablers and the conditions were marginally the same. But I decided to choose for BATE as it is the club where I started my career as a professional player. Here everyone is my friend, fantastic atmosphere, I am at home. And during the last five years the club made great breakthrough.

- In Poland we couldn't understand why our clubs (Legia Warsaw, Lech Poznan) have more money, bigger salaries, by they couldn't qualify to Champions League group stage since 18 years. BATE spend less money on players, don't have players from Brazil, Argentina and so on but they qualified 3 times in 5 years. WHY? 

- It is difficult for me to judge why the investments of Polish clubs cannot bring them the Champions League group stage for such long time. To give an answer one should play or work in Polish football for some time. I can just say that BATE is special. It is almost a family. Everyone is very focused on the result. Coaching staff does great job, which makes enormous contribution to the success. And these coaches are the guys I played with 13 years ago. Club President Anatoli Kapski is another reason for success. He is tireless.

- Which big club is in your opinion the best to Robert Lewandowski?

- Lewandowski is a top player, great striker. I am sure he can be successful in any big club. The most important thing is the confidence of the coach. If it will be there, Robert can achieve anything.