With the unexpected demise of their arch rivals, Barcelona, can anyone stop Real Madrid from winning 3 in a row ? Maybe not because the one team that stopped them last time, was cursed never to win it again for 100 years.
In 1960 Real won their 5th European Cup in a row with an astonishing display of finishing from Alfredo di Stefano and Ferenc Puskas as they rattled in 7 against Eintracht Frankfurt. It seriously looked as if they would never be beaten again, but they were dumped out of the competition in the very next round.
Their conquerors, Benfica went on to win the Cup that season and repeated their triumph the following year.
Not unreasonably, their manager Bela Guttmann asked for a pay rise. When this request was refused Guttmann left the club with these words hanging in the air
“not in a hundred years from now will Benfica ever be European champion.”
Naturally enough everyone laughed particularly as the great Euseibio, who Guttmann discovered in a barber’s shop, was breaking through at the time.
But the curse stood.
Benfica reached the 1963 European Cup Final but were beaten by AC Milan.
In 55 years since then the Lisbon giants have made it to the final 4 more times and lost each one.
In 1988 the final was held in Vienna, where Guttman is buried, and Eusebio even went to his grave to pray for the curse to be lifted.
It didn’t work, Benfica lost on penalties to PSV Eindhoven.
They’ve also lost every UEFA / Europa League final they’ve appeared in, the last one was to Chelsea again on penalties in 2014.
So is the curse real ?
Who can say, but most of these kind of curses have a strong astrological flavour. For the famous curse of Tippecanoe and the death of so many US Presidents in office, see Coincidence – The Biggest Conspiracy Theory of Them All
The astrological truth of the matter was that Benfica were only meant to win it those two years anyway.
Its invariably the case that when a manager has such profound success there is a strong connection between his chart and that of the club.
Both Guttmann and Benfica both have Piscean Suns and Leo Moons so there is a natural connection but much more than that the manager’s Mars is closely conjunct the club’s Sun. So not only do their philosophies on how to play the game dovetail, but they will also have the major transits of their lives at exactly the same time. And this is the important point.
Whenever a club or a manager comes from nowhere to have massive success for a couple of years only for it not to be maintained, I always look for Pluto transits.
Regular readers will not need the reminder but Pluto moves so slowly that it takes 250 odd years to get round the Zodiac so ensuring that its major transits in a chart will only occur every 50 – 70 years.
And in 1961 and 62, Pluto was transitting between 6 and 10 Virgo, in opposition to both Guttmann’s Mars and Benfica’s Sun.
For the 1962 final it was exact, and Jupiter was also exactly conjunct the Benfica Sun which was the reason why they came back from 2-0 down to thump Real Madrid to win 5 – 3, but also probably accounted for the club suits’ arrogance to think they could do it all without their manager.
Pluto moved on that summer, and so did Guttmann heading into retirement. And Benfica never won another one.
So will the curse last for 100 years ? Perhaps, but the 2048 final looks promising as Pluto’s at 8 Pisces then.