Legendary coach Bela Guttman came to prominence once again last night as Benfica lost for the second successive season in the Europa League final.
We wondered a year ago whether Chelsea had emerged successful in the 2013 Europa League final thanks to the Bela Guttman curse.
And, it appears Sevilla rode their luck in Turin on Wednesday night, at least during the initial 120 minutes.
To recap the Bela Guttman curse:
Benfica’s curse of never having won a European trophy has been placed by some at the feet of legendary coach in the years before and after the Second World War, Bela Guttman.
The Jewish Hungarian footballer and coach was very much the Jose Mourinho of his time and rarely even stayed two years at a club.
He managed Benfica from 1959 to 1962 and at the end of his time there allegedly put the following curse on the Portuguese giants.
After the 1962 final Guttmann approached the Benfica board of directors and asked for a pay rise, but, despite the success he had brought the club, he was turned down. On leaving Benfica he allegedly cursed the club, declaring “Not in a hundred years from now will Benfica ever win a European Cup”. Despite being finalists on eight occasions – 1963, 1965, 1968, 1983, 1988, 1990, 2013 and 2014 – Benfica have never since won any European Championship. Before the 1990 final, which was played in Vienna, where Guttmann was buried, Eusébio even prayed unsuccessfully at his grave and asked for the curse to be broken.
So, Benfica simply have to wait until 2062 to win a European final!
And, some Tweets on Bela Guttman after Sevilla’s Europa League final win are below.
Bela Guttman, 1962 : "Benfica will not win a European Cup for the next 100 years." Benfica Major Euro Finals: Played – 8 Won – 0 Lost – 8
— Football Funnys (@FootballFunnys) May 14, 2014
This Bela Guttman curse is pretty damn creepy, I'll tell you what. Eight cup finals now since he delivered that parting shot. In 1962.
— Jonas Giæver (@CheGiaevara) May 14, 2014
"One day soon, with one or two changes, they will win the European Cup." Benfica's Bela Guttman, on Tottenham, in 1962. Cursed.
— Aidan Radnedge (@aidanrad) May 14, 2014
I'd be perfectly ok with Benfica never reaching a European final again, so I don't have to listen to all the Bela Guttman crap any more.
— Nikos Overheul (@noverheul) May 14, 2014
I don't think it was stuttering from Rodrigo, Cardozo; it was convulsions caused by Bela Guttman's ghost assuming their form
— Arsenal Column (@ArsenalColumn) May 14, 2014
Bela Guttman you horrible, horrible man. 9 finals man! Poor Benfica!
— Tomasz Mortimer (@TMortimerFtbl) May 14, 2014