Hleb rejoins BATE

Belarus side are without five players who are on Olympic duty

Alexander Hleb: The midfielder played 129 for Arsenal including the 2006 UEFA Champions League final

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Alexander Hleb has made an emotional return to the club where he started his career by signing a deal at BATE Borisov.

The 31-year-old Belarus international helped BATE win the league title in his first season with the club back in 1999 before plying his trade at Stuttgart, Arsenal and then Barcelona.

And Hleb is delighted to be back at the club where it all began as they prepare to host Debrecen in the first leg of their Champions League third qualifying round on Wednesday.

"I'm happy to return to BATE," he told the club's official website. "The team is in a difficult situation with regards personnel at the minute because of the number of players who have gone to the Olympics. I was asked to help, which I'm happy to do.

"I took my first steps here and then went into Europe. I would like to thank the club and I will do everything I can to help achieve our goals."