Benfica hopes to fly away from the Gutmann curse
There’s a curse in Lisbon known as the ‘Guttman Curse’, named after the Hungarian manager who led Benfica to back-to-back European titles in the early 60s. That was 51 years ago in Amsterdam, where the legendary quadruple consisting of Aguas, Coluna, Eusebio and Simoes, sunk Real Madrid 5-3, to place Benfica as one of the leaders of world football. And following Bela Guttman’s second trophy, he left the club.
Benfica went on to become one of the clubs that has lost the most European finals, 5 to be precise. But their last presence in a final was the 1990 European Cup Final, losing 1-0 to Arrigo Sacchi’s AC Milan - which was arguably viewed as the best team in the world at that time. Despite qualifying for their eighth European final, it was evident that Benfica were not at the level or quality that won them greatness in the 60s.
23 years later and the club is back on a stage that they used to visit much more often. Much has changed since their last visit; a new stadium, Porto rising and dominating the domestic football, overcoming their financial troubles and having a much larger South American presence amongst their squad.
Know where you stand: Modern Day Locations blended with Major Historical Events by Seth Taras
1. The Hindenberg Disaster of May 6, 1937
2. Allied soldiers rushing the beach at Normandy in June 1944
3. The Fall of the Berlin wall in 1989
4. Adolf Hitler touring Paris and standing in front of the Eiffel Tower in 1940
[…] We could talk and talk and talk. But none of this would alter the fact that when Barcelona are good – and they are good pretty often, too – when that bunch of unlikely heroes, men who look nothing like the chiselled demi-gods fielded by other teams at first sight; when those players, short, squat and bandy-legged, upholders of the grand Barca, really get their act together, you know that if there was a god, she would be a Barca fan. One can only really follow her lead. (+ quote)
atmosphere of the camp nou against milan
FC Barcelona 4x0 AC Milan
David Villa celebrating his goal