Klopp, Juventus, Benfica & football’s most cursed finalists

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Jurgen Klopp
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Ahead of the Champions League final, Goal takes a look back at the clubs, managers and players who don't have the best final record

  1. Benfica | Europe
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    Benfica | Europe

    Benfica were cursed in 1962 when manager Bela Guttman asked for a pay increase in the wake of their European Cup win. His request was quickly turned down and he left the club saying: “'Not in a hundred years from now will Benfica ever be European champion.”

    56 years on and Benfica have since been in eight European finals, losing every single one of them. Only 44 more years to go then!

  2. Netherlands | World Cup
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    Netherlands | World Cup

    Arguably the best football team to never win the World Cup, the Netherlands innovated ‘Total Football’ in the 1970s and reached two World Cup finals. They lost both finals – to West Germany in 1974 and Argentina four years later – and even took the lead in the first of those showpiece games without their opponents touching the ball.

    In 2010, the Dutch reached their third World Cup final but it was anything but ‘Total Football’ for the Netherlands as they picked up a staggering nine yellow cards and one red as Spain won 1-0 after extra time thanks to Andres Iniesta’s goal.

  3. Lionel Messi | Argentina
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    Lionel Messi | Argentina

    Lionel Messi has played in four finals for Argentina and has lost every one of them.

    He has enjoyed a club career with Barcelona which has been blessed by trophies, but international honours continue to elude the 30-year-old.

    Messi has lost the last two Copa America finals on penalties, having lost in the final in that tournament three times, as well as the 2014 World Cup final when Mario Gotze scored the only goal for Germany

  4. Arsenal | League Cup
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    Arsenal | League Cup

    Arsenal are one of the most decorated clubs in English football but one trophy that their cabinet is quite light on is the League Cup.

    The Gunners have only won the trophy twice in their history, having suffered six final defeats in all, including surprises losses to Swindon Town, Luton Town and Birmingham City.

    It was also a trophy which eluded Arsene Wenger during his 22-year reign as Arsenal boss as he lost in the final three times, including this season to Premier League champions Manchester City.

  5. Hibernian | Scottish competitions
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    Hibernian | Scottish competitions

    Hibernian have the worst major cup finals record in Scottish football.

    Having to compete with Celtic and Rangers is often impossible for the rest of Scotland but spare a thought for Hibs, who have reached 24 cup finals in Scotland, winning only six of them.

  6. Jurgen Klopp | Five finals in a row
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    Jurgen Klopp | Five finals in a row

    Liverpool fans will be hoping that Klopp can break his finals hoodoo against Real Madrid in the Champions League final.

    Klopp has lost his last five finals with Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool, with his only cup success coming in the 2012 DFB Pokal final.

    Since then Klopp has lost in both the Champions League and Europa League finals as well as a League Cup final with Liverpool.

  7. Juventus | Champions League
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    Juventus | Champions League

    Juventus have reached the final of Europe’s premier competition nine times but they have only lifted the trophy twice.

    Since the tournament was rebranded as the Champions League, Juventus have suffered five final defeats, including two in the past four seasons against Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively.

  8. Tal Ben-Haim | English competitions
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    Tal Ben-Haim | English competitions

    Tal Ben Haim is a Champions League, Premier League, Community Shield, FA Cup and League Cup runner-up without ever winning any of the competitions.

    Terrible timing from the Israeli meant that he joined both Chelsea and Portsmouth after their cup triumphs and left before they would win anything else, making him perhaps the unluckiest player on this list.

  9. Espanyol | 72% Loss percentage
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    Espanyol | 72% Loss percentage

    Espanyol are rarely in a cup final, but when they are, they generally tend to lose it, whether it is the Copa del Rey or their two UEFA Cup final appearances.

    They have lost 10 out of their 14 finals leaving them with the worst win percentage in Spain at just 28% wins in their finals.