Vienna, Austria. 1990. A man weeps by a grave. He lowers his head and murmurs a few quiet words.
He sits awhile, glances intently at the writing on the headstone, he uses the palm of his hand to wipe away the dirt. His eyes glaze over with a look of hopelessness, almost pleading for something to happen. Nothing happens.
The man rises, turns and leaves. That night he gets his answer -- the curse lives on.
When Benfica's players walk out at Barcelona's Camp Nou on Wednesday, more than 22 years since the club's last appearance in a European Cup final, they will face a formidable task.
Not only must they overcome the magical Lionel Messi and his teammates in order to reach the last 16 of this season's competition, but they must also bury the famous curse. Bela Guttmann's curse. A condemnation that even the prayers of his famous protege Eusebio could not lift that day in Vienna.
"Every year when Benfica plays in the Champions League, they try to get rid of the curse," Portuguese journalist Jose Carlos Soares told CNN.
"Any time that Benfica play near Guttmann's grave, somebody will take flowers. It hasn't worked."
Even in death, Guttmann is determined to have his own way -- much to the anguish of a club he left in anger after taking it to the peak of European football in the early 1960s.
A charismatic and sometimes eccentric genius, Guttmann revolutionized football during a coaching career which spanned 25 jobs in 13 different countries before he passed away in 1981, aged 82.
Born into a Jewish family in Budapest in 1899, Guttmann, like his parents, became a trained dance instructor before switching his focus to football.
After becoming part of the MTK Hungaria side which won the league title in 1920 and 1921, Guttmann left for Vienna following the rise of anti-Semitism under Miklos Horthy's regime.
It was here, among the Austrian intelligentsia, that he flourished, taking in the political and literary debates in Vienna's coffee-house society.
There he joined the exclusively Jewish football club Hakoah Wien, where he won the league title in 1925 as well as winning four caps for Hungary.
After traveling on a tour to the U.S. with Hakoah, Guttmann decided to stay put in New York only to lose a considerable amount of money in the Wall Street crash.
That forced the nomadic traveler to move on once again, first back to Vienna where he took on a coaching role with Hakoah before joining Dutch side SC Enschede.
But Guttmann's life, like those of so many other Jews, was turned on its head during the rise of Hitler in Europe and the Holocaust which killed six million people.
"Guttmann was hugely talented," says leading football writer Jonathan Wilson, author of the book "Outsider: A History of the Goalkeeper."
"He was tactically very astute but also very awkward and difficult," Wilson told CNN. "He was very quick to take offense.
"The central theme with Guttmann is the war. We don't know how he survived it, and the fact he skips over it in his book could mean one of two things.
"Did he feel guilty for surviving or did he compromise himself to stay alive?
"Or, perhaps it was that the memories were just too painful to share and that the loss of so many of his loved ones meant he didn't speak about it.
"He was hugely successful but there was something tragic about him, which probably comes from that time."
While family members, including a brother, perished in concentration camps, Guttmann escaped to Switzerland where he was held in internment.
It wasn't until the end of the war in 1945 that he returned to football, this time in Romania.
It was here, in 1946 with club side Ciokanul, that he demanded to be paid in vegetables at a time when famine was a growing problem.
While parsnips and carrots were gratefully received, Guttmann's relationship with the board was never a particularly healthy one. When a club director began to interfere in team selection, Guttmann finally lost patience.
His fiery temper and attitude of "my way or the highway" earned him plenty of attention, especially from the media.
Following spells with Padova and Triestina in Italy, Boca Juniors and Quilmes in Argentina and Apoel Nicosia in Cyprus, Guttmann hit the big time with AC Milan in 1953.
His team led the Serie A table after 19 games in his second season, only for another run-in with the board to curtail his tenure.
"I have been sacked, even though I am neither a criminal nor a homosexual," he told a shocked press conference. "Goodbye."
Years later, on his first day as the manager of Benfica, he fired 20 players before leading the club to the Portuguese title.
"He was an incredible man," Wilson said. "Did he become a parody of himself? Did he do those kind of things because people expected it?
"I don't know. But it was clear that he never wanted to stay in one place for long, he was always moving.
"That could have been because of the war, but also because he was looking for the next pay check."
It was in Portugal, after a successful spell in South America, that Guttmann really secured his legacy, securing back-to-back European Cups with Benfica in 1961 and 1962.
It was the first time that any club other than Real Madrid had won the competition.
During his time in Brazil with Sao Paulo between 1957 and 1958, where he won the league title before moving to Porto, Guttmann introduced the 4-2-4 system which Brazil used at the 1958 World Cup.