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Revealed: Bendtner's clash with Adebayor

Nicklas Bendtner

In January 2008, Nicklas Bendtner and Emmanuel Adebayor squared up to each other during the League Cup semi-final second leg at White Hart Lane against Tottenham.

Speaking exclusively to our ‘In Lockdown’ podcast, the Dane explained the truth behind the controversial incident.
 
"He’s not really my cup of tea," Bendtner said. "I got on with most people in the team and made some really good friends, but me and him? Probably not so much.

 
"I remember him being substituted on and I think there was a key moment where I don't think the ball had been passed to him. There was a heated exchange of words where a lot was said between us, and then we squared up to each other.
 
"Then he sort of push headbutted me, so he sort of pushed me away while headbutting me on the nose. Then Gallas came in, split us up and took us apart.
 

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"I was very upset. I mean, we had such a poor performance, I think we lost 5-1. I was disappointed enough with myself and the team about the performance we gave, so that [incident] obviously didn't do anything to help.
 
"We tried to talk to it through in the dressing room but not so much words... more something else. Then we got separated and called into the boss’ office the next day. We got fined and that was the end of it. We didn't really have any encounters at all from that moment.
 
“We never tried to patch things up,” he added. “We learned to have the respect for the club and the team. That we would be on the same team, we would give everything when we were on the pitch together, but we wouldn't be friends.
 
"It's not like if he was through on goal I wouldn't pass the ball to him, that would never have been an effect from my point of view. I would always have passed in the greater good. We sort of just learned to play having it the way we had it, with the respect and understanding of the group.”

 

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Hleb I still don't understand why I left Arsenal

Alex Hleb

On July 16, 2008, Alex Hleb left Arsenal and joined Barcelona - a move he now admits was a mistake. 

Speaking exclusively to our 'In Lockdown' podcast, our former winger explains how he came to leave north London.
 
"Many years later and I still think about it," Hleb said. "I don't understand. To this day I still don't understand what happened or why I made the decision. 

 
"Of course, Barcelona in that moment was the best team in the world but I was really happy at Arsenal at the time. I had friends, I enjoyed the coach, I was playing for one of the best teams, the fans, the stadium, everything! The fantastic championship, the Premier League, everything!
 
"Why I left, I don't understand. Barca, of course, were the best team at the time and everybody wants something to try but really I was 100 per cent happy at Arsenal.
 
"I cried when I talked to Arsene. We talked in the holiday before I left and he told me he wanted to keep me and I was important. I cried. I didn't know what to do in that moment. 
 

Alex Hleb

"Of course, Barca is a fantastic team. I won titles and everything but I didn't play as much as I did at Arsenal. This is only my mistake because at the time, a lot of things happened in my private life. I started very nervously [at Barcelona]. Always aggressive. It was only my mistake. 
 
"This is not a situation where Guardiola didn't trust me or something like that. No, this is only my mistake. At Arsenal I was happy, you know? When you're happy in the team, you need to stay. 
 
“Of course [I still think about my career]. When you're young you think you have so many years but it's really like one moment. It's really quick. My children now ask me about [my career] and you explain your emotions and it's nice, it's very nice.”

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