‘That’s nice Alex’: Cesc Fabregas responds to former team-mate Alexander Hleb’s joke that he will punch him when Chelsea meet BATE Borisov in the Europa League
- Cesc Fabregas has responded to Alexander Hleb, who joked he would punch him
- The pair are preparing to go head-to-head with Chelsea facing BATE Borisov
- The Chelsea midfielder wrote on Twitter: ‘That’s nice Alex,’ after hearing the joke
- READ: Hleb’s had a rollercoaster career and gone from star man to journeyman
Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas has issued a tongue-in-cheek response to Alexander Hleb after the BATE Borisov man joked he would punch him when he comes up against him in the Europa League on Thursday night.
Fabregas and Hleb, who worked together in perfect harmony during their three years together at Arsenal between 2005-2008, will reunite at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea take on the Belarusian champions in Group L.
The 31-year-old was however somewhat bemused by Hleb’s threat to punch him and replied by tweeting: ‘That’s nice, Alex.’
Cesc Fabregas has responded to Alexander Hleb’s joke he would punch him when he plays him
The pair, who are understood to be close friends, failed to win anything during their time in north London, losing in Champions League and League Cup finals, and their careers have taken very different paths since those days.
Fabregas won six trophies with club and country after leaving Arsenal while Hleb has had a nomadic career since Barcelona came calling back in 2008, playing for the likes of Birmingham City, Konyaspor and Krylia Sovetov Samara – and is also now in his fifth spell at BATE.
The attacking midfielder is nonetheless looking forward to returning to a past scene of his glory days with Arsenal and to go head-to-head against his former team-mate.
Hleb will line-up on the opposite team as Chelsea face BATE Borisov on Thursday evening
The pair worked together well on the pitch during a three-year spell at Arsenal together
‘It will be nice to see Cesc again,’ Hleb told the Daily Telegraph. ‘We’ve been messaging each other. When I see him, I will … [makes a mock punching gesture] no, I’m joking.’
The 37-year-old will need to role back the years if BATE are to get anything out of Thursday night’s clash with Chelsea top of the group, having taken maximum points from their opening two games.
The Belarus side are still within a chance of qualifying for the knockout rounds – sitting joint second in the table with three points – and would boost those hopes by getting a result at Stamford Bridge.
Maurizio Sarri’s men meanwhile, will all but guarantee their progression to the next phase of the competition with three points.
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