FC BATE Borisov have bolstered their squad ahead of the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round with the signings of Aleksandr Hleb and Roman Vasilyuk.
Hleb, 31, began his career by winning the Belarusian title with BATE in 1999 before joining VfB Stuttgart, where he spent five seasons from 2000-2005. The midfielder then moved to Arsenal FC and featured in the 2006 UEFA Champions League final defeat by FC Barcelona, who he signed for in July 2008.
Hleb was a member of Barça's 2009 treble-winning squad and went on loan to Stuttgart, Birmingham City FC and VfL Wolfsburg until he moved to PFC Krylya Sovetov Samara for the second half of last season.
"I'm glad to return to Borisov," said Hleb, who has scored six goals in 55 appearances for Belarus. "They are in a difficult situation because a lot of players are now at the Olympic games. They asked me if I can help and I happily agreed. I made my first steps here and went to Europe from here, so I want the thank my native club. I will do everything I can so that we can achieve our goals."
BATE have also signed the Belarusian Premier League's all-time top scorer, Vasilyuk, from FC Minsk. The 33-year-old former FC Brest, Slavia Mozyr, FC Spartak Moskva and FC Gomel forward has 188 goals in 345 top-flight matches to his name and has also registered ten times in 22 games for Belarus.
The Borisov club take on Debreceni VSC in the third qualifying round, with the first leg taking place in Belarus on Wednesday before the return in Hungary a week later.
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