Sevilla and their unstoppable red elbow patches won their third UEFA Cup/Europa League title by beating Benfica 4-2 in a penalty shootout that followed an abysmal scoreless final. Benfica have now lost eight straight European finals — including the last two Europa League finals — to keep the 52-year-old Bela Guttman curse (or at least all the talk about it) alive.
Guttman led Benfica to consecutive European Cups in 1961 and 1962 before leaving the club due to a contract dispute. Upon doing so, he allegedly said, "Not in a hundred years from now will Benfica ever win a European cup." Though Guttman briefly returned to Benfica in 1965, they have not been able to win a European title since then despite many near misses and more than 40 domestic trophies in that time. Benfica legend Eusebio even tried praying at Guttman's grave before the 1990 European Cup final against Milan in Vienna (where Guttman is buried). They lost 1-0.
But if Benfica are cursed, Sevilla are feeling rather blessed at this moment. They finished ninth in La Liga last season and only qualified for the tournament due to Malaga and Rayo Vallecano's punishments for financial violations. And their goalkeeper saved Oscar Cardozo's penalty from well off his line.
The left photo is from the FIFA rulebook. The right photo is from Beto tonight. You be the judge. pic.twitter.com/YCDYMaL6K7— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) May 14, 2014
On the bright side for Benfica, only 48 years to go...
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