Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi could be tempted to ply their trade in Belarus while the coronavirus pandemic cripples European football, according to former Arsenal and Barcelona star Alexander Hleb.
Belarus is the only nation in Europe still allowing football to go ahead as normal, with the rest of the continent putting their domestic seasons on hold amid the coronavirus outbreak.
There are only 81 confirmed cases in the country, meaning Belarus FA chief Vladimir Bazanov has decided against suspended their current campaign.
And with Serie A and La Liga matches currently off the cards, Hleb has bizarrely tipped Juventus ace Ronaldo and former Barca team-mate Messi to move to his home country.
“All the world now watches the Belarusian league. Everybody should go to their television and see us,” he said.
“When the NHL closed the season, a lot of ice hockey players went to Russia to play.
“Maybe Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo might come to the Belarus league to continue. You know?
“It’s the only place in Europe you can play football. At least then the people of Belarus will be happy.”
It is believed over 400,000 people have contracted coronavirus worldwide.
Numerous sport stars have tested positive for the virus; including Juve trio Paulo Dybala, Blaise Matuidi and Daniele Rugani, Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi and Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta.
But astonishingly, Hleb has insisted the people of Belarus are not worried about the potentially-deadly bug.
“In Belarus, it’s like no one cares. It’s incredible. Maybe in one week or two weeks we will stop here,” he said.
“Maybe our President is just waiting to see what happens with the virus.
“Everybody here knows what’s happened to Italy and Spain. It doesn’t look good.
“But in our country, people in the presidential administration believe it’s not as extreme as the news says.
“A lot of young people and students here think like this. I’m keeping at home with my family. But when I go out, the streets and restaurants are still busy.
“Everybody’s been training as normal, getting ready for the new season. They just don’t care.
“I care about my health and my family. I’m keeping to minimum contact. I won’t be going to Isloch.
“It’s very difficult to explain our country. All leagues have closed but we don’t seem to think it’s a problem. Why? I don’t know.”