Arsenal hero Alexander Hleb has footballing brother that no one has heard of

Alexander Hleb is well-known for being the dribbling wizard Arsene Wenger signed for Arsenal during their transition phase in 2005.

In his three years at the north London club, the Belarusian playmaker captivated fans with his dazzling feet while making 89 Premier League appearances.

He eventually caught the eye of La Liga giants Barcelona, who he signed for in a dream move in 2008 before going on to fall into obscurity.

But the former Gunner has an even more obscure younger brother whose football career never quite reached the same heights, despite managing to notch several Bundesliga appearances in the mid-Noughties.

Vyacheslav Hleb, 38, came up through the ranks at Dinamo-Juni Minsk much like his brother around the turn of the millennium.

The attacking-midfielder earned a move to Bundesliga side Stuttgart while still a teenager, making 49 appearances for their reserve side.

While the younger Hleb failed to make an impact for the German side, Alexander became a star in Stuttgart’s first-team which saw him identified as a replacement for the likes of Robert Pires and Freddie Ljungberg at Highbury.

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Vyacheslav, meanwhile, left Stuttgart the season before to join Hamburg SV.

Hleb’s 10 appearances in north Germany would prove to be the peak of the Belarusian’s career as he was released at the end of the 2004/05 season.

His trials at Scottish Premiership sides Hearts and Inverness were also unsuccessful, and his last major club was Zurich-based Swiss side Grasshopper.

Hleb’s return to his home country with MTZ-RIPO Minsk was a far more enjoyable affair, with the attacker scoring 29 goals in 72 appearances during his three years there.

He signed a two-year contract with Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua in 2009, initially impressing in his 27 matches but falling out of favour under new manager Miroslav Blazevic.

The following decade saw Hleb become a certified journeyman – travelling between the Chinese, Belarusian and Greek leagues.

In an ironic twist of fate, he played his final season as a professional footballer for newly-formed third-tier Belarusian side Arsenal Dzerzhinsk.

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