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.