The former Arsenal midfielder is back at Camp Nou after yet another unsuccessful loan spell, this time at Wolfsburg, who have turned down chance to sign the BelarusianBarcelona misfit Aliaksandr Hleb has admitted that he has wasted what should have been the best years of his career.
The Belarusian midfielder is back at Camp Nou after yet another unsuccessful loan spell, this time with Wolfsburg, his six-month stint at the Volkswagen Arena having been blighted by injury.
Hleb, who arrived at Barca from Arsenal in 2008, now concedes that he has failed to make the most of his talent.
"If I'm honest, I've given away with the best years of my career and I have nobody else to blame,” he told Stuttgarter Zeitung.
Indeed, Hleb regrets that after his first season in La Liga he decided to return to former club Stuttgart on loan rather than fight for his place in Catalunya.
"I was annoyed when I did not play," he admitted. "Now I know that Barcelona is so great because every player holds back his ego. At that time I could not see it.”
The 30-year-old now feels that his return to Stuttgart was “too big a step backwards” and that his game suffered as a consequence.
"You want to play a one-two but then do not get the ball back,” he explained. “That made me angry sometimes, I reacted badly."
Hleb, who has been capped 55 times by his country, will be a free agent in the summer and he is determined to avoid wasting what time he has left at the top level.
"I am training more intensely at the moment than I ever have previously in my career," he claimed. "I would prefer to return to the Bundesliga because this is my second home."
Hleb, who has been capped 55 times by his country, began his career with BATE Borisov before moving to Stuttgart in 2000.