The top 5 biggest curses in world football

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Mon, 9 May 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

GhanaWeb Feature

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits according to Proverbs 18:21 and while people have benefited from what has been said with the tongue, others have also suffered greatly because of negative pronouncements.

Despite the fact that some people are not dying as a result of what has been said against them, life hasn't been all rosy for them and football clubs or personalities haven't been any different from these predicaments.

Though many believe that football is purely scientific and what you put in during training is what you get on the field of play, there are certain superstitions about the game that one cannot ignore because football clubs reflect the larger society.

But being an African means that one cannot rule out the fact that superstitions and curses are part of the wider society and football is no exception.

These conversations came up after Manchester City's elimination from the UEFA Champions League at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium.

Today we take a look at the top five curses in world football in this episode of GhanaWeb's weekly feature.

1. African curse on Pep Guardiola in UEFA Champions League

Agent of Manchester City legend Yaya Toure, Dmitriy Seluk stated that Pep Guardiola has been cursed by African shamans for how he axed the Ivoriiean from the team.

He added that the Spanish coach will never lay his hands on the UEFA Champions League trophy again because he has been cursed for how he treated Yaya Toure

"He [Guardiola] turned all Africa against himself, many African fans turned away from Manchester City. And I'm sure that many African shamans in the future will not allow Guardiola to win the Champions League. This will be for Guardiola an African curse. Life will show whether I am right or not," said Seluk.

2. The irreversible curse of Bela Guttman

The curse of the late former Hungarian footballer and coach, Bela Guttman on Portuguese giants Benfica has been one of the longest curses seen in the football terrain.

Bela Guttman's curse on Benfica has been haunting Benfica for more than sixty years and the club has done all that they can both physically and spiritually but the curse has been irreversible.

The Hungarian after breaking Real Madrid's dominance in Europe with back-to-back victories in the European Cup/Champions League was sacked by the Board of Benfica for demanding a pay rise.

The decision to terminate his contract for asking for a pay rise infuriated Guttman who cursed the club saying: "Not in a hundred years from now will Benfica ever be European champion."

Since then, they have played in eight European finals – five in the European Cup and three times in the UEFA Cup/Europa League and lost all of them.

Benfica in the last decade lost back-to-back Europa League finals to Chelsea and Sevilla between 2013 and 2014 losing the games 2-1 and 4-2 respectively.

3. The seven dead cats

The seven dead cats buried at the Estadio Presidente Perón, the home venue of Racing Club FC in Argentina is one of the most popular curses in South America.

While Racing Club and their fans were celebrating the 1967 Intercontinental Cup win, jealous fans of their greatest rivals, Independiente, broke into their stadium and buried the corpses of seven black cats.

And that was when the trophy drought of Racing Club started and it got worse till the 1980s when they were told by a priest that a curse has been placed on them by Independiente and they will have to dig up the dead buried cats before they can start winning trophies again.

They started exorcism, the spiritual practice of evicting demons from a person or an area and digging the ground but they were only able to remove six corpses of cats and the curse was still till in 2001 when they found the remaining one while renovating their pitch.

Racing Club won the league title in 2001 after finding the seventh dead cart that was buried at their stadium.

4. Don't touch the Champions League trophy before the final game

Touching the UEFA Champions League trophy before the final game has been deemed as a curse and competing teams in the final are often advised to stay away from the Cup if they want good fortunes.

In 2004, Monaco’s Ludovic Giuly touched the trophy before the final aggaimst FC Porto at the Arena AufSchalke in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. The French club lost the trophy after losing 3-0 to Porto.

A year later, Gennaro Gattuso also did against Liverpool in Istanbul and AC Milan lost the final on penalties despite taking a three-goal lead at halftime.

Bayern Munich became the latest victim of this curse after Anatoly Tymoshchuk touched the trophy while entering the pitch in the game against Chelsea and they also lost the trophy in 2012.

5. They Should have paid the money!

The Australian national team completes our list for today as their predicament in the FIFA World Cup before 2006 is very popular in Africa.

For the Socceroos, they suffered from a curse because of their perceived ungrateful nature and their decision to cheat a witch doctor.

The Australians hired a witch doctor, who buried bones near the goalposts and cursed Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) during the 1970 FIFA World Cup qualifiers but they bolted and didn't pay the £1000 demanded by the witch doctor after winning the game 3-1.

The witch doctor cursed them and the Socceroos missed out on the 1970 World Cup after losing their last match to Israel and it continued like that till 2006 when the curse was lifted by another witch doctor in Mozambique who was paid to lift the curse.

Australia have since qualified for all the subsequent World Cups.

Author: Joel Eshun

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