According to Sky Sports Arsenal forward Andrey Arshavin has admitted he would relish the opportunity to play for Barcelona. The Russia international playmaker came close to joining the Catalan giants from Zenit St Petersburg in July 2008, before moving to Emirates Stadium the following January.

Arshavin limped out of the first leg of Arsenal's 6-3 aggregate defeat by Barca in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals at the end of March after suffering a calf injury from which he is still to recover.

He believes the opportunity to join the defending European champions would be too good to turn down, even though they wrecked the Gunners' dreams of continental glory.

"Even playing just one season for Barcelona would make a pinnacle of my whole career," Arshavin told Sport-Express newspaper.

"Barca are the best team in the world and I enjoy their style of play so much. But after watching them against Arsenal the enjoyment has quickly turned into sorrow.

"They are so much better than anybody else at the moment."

Barca are facing a fight to defend their trophy, having suffered a 3-1 defeat away to Inter Milan in the first leg of their semi-final, a result which Arshavin believes was down to the Italian giants' manager.

He said: "It's all (Jose) Mourinho's magic. He is a genius. I think there are three coaches who are the best in the world - (England manager) Fabio Capello, Jose Mourinho and (former Russia manager) Guus Hiddink. If I would pick a coach for the Russian national team, I'd want one of them to be our boss."

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Arsenal Debate Team 

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4/27/2010 01:56:40 am

if arshavin wants to go soon then there is something seriously wrong at arsenal. why does no1 want to stay with us? we have a good future, play in the best league, and play an excellent style of football....we have to keep our best players, therefore we must show ambition, sign a few players for god sake arsene...

cesc is king :)))

miss arsenal
4/27/2010 02:01:04 am

for real, ive had enough of paying huge amounts for attending games without investing in the team...

if next season is no different, i will seriously consider just staying at home while watching the games on tv...

Brian T.V.
4/27/2010 04:08:42 am

yeap i mean..... what the heck is wrong with that guy???? we really need to keep our best playes as joe78 said oh! boy...

4/27/2010 04:28:39 am

if he wants to go let him...

the current squad definitely need more training in defensing as a team - which they did well in last game against City - but bring back old players to "teach" young talents are easy said than done. You don't want young players to live in the shawdow of past glory, you want them to excel. I think ManU has managed really well in this regard. Their squad always has a good balance b/t young and experinced. One thing AW or Arsenal should learn from MU is that MU has players aged 36 above and still play whole-hearted for the club. Arsenal should review its current policy for players reaching 30. Loyalty is rare commodity. A big club like Arsenal should be able to reward those experienced players by extending their contracts. Those players fought hard for the club. And loyalty should work both ways.

However, this under-30 policy should not off set what AW did for the club, particularly in the past 5 years. When Arsenal was in big debt and paying huge interest each year, what he did is genius. While most young talents costed nearly nothing, they keep playing entertaining footballs that whole world like to watch. They also managed to keep playing in top flight in EPL & in CL. Plus, our youth team virtually increased their values each year. Which coach in the world can achieve this?

The next step is to strenthen the current squad. If we can not develop our own defensive players/goal keepers/strikers, we will have to buy them from somewhere. I think the purpose of this is to keep majority of current squad so we have a winning team - not only just for one season one trophy. If AW can amend Arsenal's current policy for under-30, we might be able to see the current squad leading Arsenal to a fair long period of glory. At least this is what I am hoping.

4/27/2010 04:29:22 am

reply to tottenham hater...

u from the arsenal.com? or just another wenger's yes man?

learning from proven experience is not living in their shadow! all we could tell is that our defence hasn't been improving or learning however you like to put it so if wenger couldn't fix it someone would, right?

and the stadium situation is another myth... probably only the board and wenger only would really know... but we surely have some money to strengthen last AND this year esp in the Jan 2010 window when even an idiot would have known we had a chance to title... and what did this 'genius' do? nothing... and had the gut to say we'd have more points were rvp not out! C'mon... did he think all paying fans were idiots? or he simply takes us all for granted? if that's not arrogant or losing the plot, am not sure what is...

so people should think real hard before trying to defend wenger (and the board)... it's infuriating really esp given the way we frizzled...not one win since losing the barca!

4/27/2010 08:25:28 pm

Well Guys I think we need to be focused and for ARsahvin to comment like that is very unprofessional. Imagine the deal fails and he performs dismaly what would wesay about his commitment!!!!????. Playesr need to know some implications of their satatement at least "Better be quiet than be misquoted or caught out of context. Everyone had hoped to build the team on Cesc, Arshavin. RVP,Verm etc now this will be disastrous.

Syafiq 23
4/28/2010 06:11:25 am

he is being too honest for a public figure..used to be my idol.but its fading away now if he keeps talking such a thing..i dont know whether its the media who edited the stories,because we are not getting the first hand information..rumours are just everywhere nowadays

Manoj loves arsenal
5/7/2010 03:32:17 am

no arshavin dont leave.. we have already had a string of greats leaving the team.. the team has a big future sure.. it will make u a better player..lot better than what barcelona can make you..!!


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