While it might not be evident at first glimpse, the Champions League encounter between Juventus and Benfica will be a contest between two historic European giants with several things in common.
For instance, both sides have lifted Europe’s most prestigious trophy on two occasions. However, the striking resemblance doesn’t end there. In fact, Wednesday’s opponents are mostly renowned for their shortcomings on European finals rather than their exploits.
With seven failed attempts in Champions League finales, the Bianconeri are the undisputed holders of an unwanted record. For their part, the Iberians are the runner-ups (alongside Bayern Munich) in this unceremonious list with five heartbreaks of their own.
But while Juventus fans might suggest that their club might be cursed on the European stage, it is in fact Benfica who are the victims of an alleged hex cast by their legendary manager Bela Guttman.
Football always had its controversial figures, and the Ausrto-Hungarian coach was the author of great many stirs during his heyday. Nonetheless, Guttman’s ability to continue with his controversial act long after his death must be considered as a unique phenomena.
Following Benfica’s back-to-back triumphs in 1961 and 1962, the manager asked for a well-deserved raise, but was abruptly shunned by the hierarchy. In response, he immediately opted to quit his job while allegedly claiming that the club won’t win a European trophy for 100 years.
And that’s how football’s most infamous curse was born.
Sixty years following Guttman’s statement, his words still stand true. the Eagles came close to shatter the spell, but fell just short on EIGHT occasions. We’re talking about five defeats in Champions League finals, and another three in the European League.
Coincidentally, their last heartache ensued at the Allianz Stadium in Turin. During that season, Juventus were controversially knocked out from the Champions League group stage on a icy terrain in…
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Author : Michel Sakr
Publish date : 2022-09-14 13:00:29
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