Benfica, Bela Guttman and the Biggest Curses of World Football

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Benfica, Bela Guttman and the Biggest Curses of World Football
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Those who tuned in to see the exceptionally drab Europa League final on Wednesday evening may have felt unlucky, but losers Benfica suffered a miserable fate that some believe was pre-ordained.

The Portuguese side's defeat by penalties to Sevilla was their second consecutive Europa League final loss and their eighth consecutive loss in a major European final.

The superstitious are blaming the curse of Bela Guttman for this continued misfortune. Guttman was a legendary journeyman manager who took charge of Benfica in 1959.

After leading the Eagles to consecutive European Cups, the Austro-Hungarian coach requested a pay rise. He was turned down and, upon leaving the club for Penarol in Uruguay, allegedly placed a curse on the Portuguese team.

"Not in a hundred years from now will Benfica ever be European champion," he reportedly said. And they have lost every opportunity at continental glory since. 

This disturbingly accurate old wives' tale inspires our list of the biggest curses in football... 

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