The Chronicles of Hleb


This really is just a load of nonsense. The main idea of this series is quite simple. Because Hleb is perpetually injured, off form, and just generally doesn’t play much, he decides that he will dedicate his free time in writing his experiences in a journal. The journal will then be given to his son [he doesn’t believe he’ll have a daughter], whom he addresses as Hleb Junior, so that he will learn valuable things from it.

Of course, this is Hleb we’re talking about, so he inevitably gets Hlebbed in each journal entry.

There’s no real timeline or setting for them. They can span from his time at Stuttgart, Barcelona, Arsenal, Birmingham, or somewhere made up in some alternate universe. In other words, it can be completely random.

(I also have an additional idea called ‘Find Hleb a Job’ but I’m not sure how to go about it yet.)

In deciding what to write, a prompt is given and some kind of story is written around it in first person (you write through Hleb’s eyes). The prompt is given in the following format:

In which Hleb (insert idea here).

I know, it’s pretty lame; but it’s also terribly fun and a good writing exercise. Plus, it gives you something to do with the break and all.

The ‘interactive’ part of this post is basically you giving out prompts in the comments section, or, if you’re feeling bold, taking someone else’s prompt and writing your own entry.

Anyway, you can just see what I mean below. ]


In which Hleb goes to buy a book and teaches everyone the value of honesty.


Hleb Junior,

I love to read. There is nothing I consider more riveting for the mind than to immerse oneself in classical literature for hours on end.

I am also quite keen on visualization. Choosing a novel, fiction or otherwise, and imagining yourself in place of the protagonist is a brilliant way to motivate yourself.

It is for those reasons I entered a local bookstore in search of a novel depicting the life of Alexander the Great.

I found the novel with ease and not only was it thorough; it also contained fifty percent more illustrations than your average picture book.

This pleased me greatly.

As I made my way to the queue to buy the book, I noticed an unusually high number of civilians in line.

This was disappointing.

However, I dutifully waited in line until it was my turn to purchase my book and sauntered over to the cashier. To endear myself to the woman, and possibly secure a premium discount on my novel (it does not matter if you don’t need one. Get it anyway. You must be shrewd in life, Hleb Junior), I decided I would be polite and address her by her name.

Casually glancing at her name tag out of the corner of my eye, I was met with the most peculiar name I’d ever seen.

The name tag read: !xobila.

Now Hleb Junior, it is very important to have values. It is under these values that society continues to function in an orderly manner.

One of the most important values in life is honesty. Women, in particular, extol this virtue.

It is with that life fact in mind that I asked the cashier a simple, innocuous, and completely appropriate question:

“When deciding a name for you, did your parents slam their fingers on a keyboard and go with whatever combination of letters appeared on the screen?”

I was promptly escorted out of the store by security looking fellows.

Bah. Women.


In which Hleb reveals his love of BritComedy and gets benched.


Hleb Junior,

Have I ever told you how much I enjoy British comedy? The satire and dry wit of Englishmen and women amuses me to no end. Even the football coaches are comical and that is quite something.

I play for Birmingham. I know, I know. Shocking. But it is really only because they are so ghastly. You see, Barcelona decided to loan me there to even out the playing field as an act of Good Will (they have an agreement with Unicef and must play the part) and I wanted to fill the generosity quota for my lifetime so I agreed.

Naturally, I’ll be playing every game – the competition is nonexistent. I often wonder how these brutes qualify as professional footballers, but the world is full of mysteries, Hleb Junior.

The day before a game against my beloved Arsenal coached by my second father Arsene Wenger, my coach decided to announce the starting XI after training. Odd, I know, but England is an odd place.

As he was listing out the names, he looked at me pointedly and said:

“Alex, you start on the bench.”

Oh, how I love British humour.

[Thoughts? Good idea? Bad idea? Did anyone even read this?

Also, I don’t expect anyone to get the reference, so the explanation behind !xobila: ]

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  1. December 26, 2011

    Hleb to ask questions to Arshavin #findhlebajob

    • December 26, 2011

      If you’re referring to the Q&A sections on Arshavin’s site (which Dirty Tackle often collects and curates) BEST IDEA EVER

    • December 26, 2011

      Heck, I think that’d make enough for TEN posts… and a Bendtner

  2. K_legit in Oz
    December 26, 2011

    hahahah a Russel Peters reference..classic

    Somebody gonna get a-hurt real bad!

    • blitzen
      December 26, 2011

      I. Love. This.

      Gotta watch it a few dozen more times… 😀

    • nzm
      December 26, 2011


      It was part of a longer documentary that was filmed by a reporter going to the Bernabeu for the last clasico, and interviewing Madridistas before, during and as they were leaving in droves before the game actually ended.

      Some blamed the loss on Messi not getting the 2nd yellow and then red for his tackle on Alonso. Others blamed it on Ronaldo being “great against lesser teams, but not showing up against Barca”.

      The funniest part was a bit where they showed the Mourinho post-match interview and the players’ interviews, and they flashed the words “suerte” and “fortunato” across the screen EVERY time these words were mentioned – which was a lot!

      I was actually looking for a very slo-mo video of Valdes (when I found this one) that was also part of the show. The slo-mo showed that Valdes received a very bright and accurate laser flash to his eyes just as he went to kick the ball out to Abidal, and instead sent it to Di Maria. It MAY have accounted for his wayward kick.

      We’ve been living on documentaries such as these, as well as endless repeats of 3 seasons of recent clasicos that have been broadcast on Catalunya TV3 and Barca TV over the Xmas period!

    • Cule
      December 26, 2011

      “The slo-mo showed that Valdes received a very bright and accurate laser flash to his eyes just as he went to kick the ball out to Abidal, and instead sent it to Di Maria”

      This I gotta see! What do I need to do after opening that link to get to that part? I don’t understand Catalan so I’m clueless 🙁

    • nzm
      December 27, 2011

      The slo-mo of Valdes isn’t in this video – I’m still trying to find it.

      But if you click on the above link, the video should start up.

  3. blitzen
    December 26, 2011

    Just thinking, this is a Christmas of firsts for many of our players. Iniesta’s first Christmas as a father. Villa’s first Christmas in Barcelona (he couldn’t travel, so his family came to him). And it is Cesc’s first Christmas at home since he was 16 years old.

    I hope they all had a good one. <3

    • nzm
      December 26, 2011

      Villa got out of hospital too.

      Did you see the totalBarca article on Alexis going back to his hometown and distributing a truckload of toys to the kids? Apparently he does this every year.

      Not only does the man look like Adonis, but he’s gold on the inside, too! 🙂

    • K_legit in Oz
      December 27, 2011

      Fuck, what a video!

    • Momo
      December 27, 2011

      So. Much. Epicness.

    • Jnice
      December 27, 2011

      Beast. Thanks, jordi.

    • December 27, 2011


    • nzm
      December 27, 2011

      This is why we bought the #5 camisetas!

      Awesome – thanks for posting the video, Jordi!

    • Srini
      December 27, 2011

      Whoa..this made my day. Thank you for the link. The Captain Caveman/ Ironman Irrepressible/ Pugnacious Puyol .. great video.

    • Goo
      December 27, 2011


      “Aguantas por mis huevos,” said Pep.

      This is why.

    • K_legit in Oz
      December 27, 2011

      Jordi you get twenty internetz!

    • December 27, 2011

      Posting this monster now. Thank you so much for finding it, jordi!

  4. 505
    December 27, 2011

    almost moved me to tears. thanks for the link! BEST.CAPITA.EVER. madrid can only dream of having a captain like ours!

    • 505
      December 27, 2011

      sorry.. this was in response to jordi’s video, not hleb 🙂

  5. nzm
    December 27, 2011

    At 7pm Barca time (CET) on Friday December 30th, Catalunya TV will universally broadcast the Catalunya vs. Tunisia match from the Olimpic Stadium.

    Link here: Click on the link for the game.

    Click here to convert time to your timezone:

    Tunisia also plays the Basque Country on 28th Dec which will also be televised live at this link.

  6. barca96
    December 27, 2011

    Guys, look, Thiago called themselves (himself, Mazinho, Zizinho & Dos Santos) negritos. I guess that is just the way S. Americans call the colored people.

    Im referring to the Suarez ban. Suarez included negritos in his sentence and was penalised for that.

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