Before Pep Guardiola and before José Mourinho, there was Béla Guttmann: the first superstar football coach, and the man who paved the way for the celebrated coaches of the modern age. In 1961 and 1962, Benfica lifted the European Cup – the only times in the club's history – under his management.
More extraordinarily still, Guttmann was a Holocaust survivor. Having narrowly dodged death by hiding for months in an attic near Budapest as thousands of fellow Jews in the neighbourhood were dragged off to be murdered, Guttmann later escaped from a slave labour camp. Rising from the death pits of Europe to become its champion in just over sixteen years, Guttmann performed the single greatest comeback in football history.
In 1992, the European Cup completition was replaced by the UEFA Champions League. As Juventus face Real Madrid in tomorrow's Champions Leage final, we celebrate Guttmann's historic success and personal story with The Greatest Comeback by David Bolchover available at HALF PRICE for this weekend only.
“If you’re a football fan and Béla Guttmann is just a name you have seen in the lists of European Cup-winning managers, take the time to read about the man. It is an astonishing journey.” – Oliver Holt, Chief Sports Writer, Mail on Sunday
“Original and definitive.” – Patrick Barclay, football writer
“Moving, original, full of insight, this is a gripping tale told by a skilled storyteller.” – Daniel Finkelstein, associate editor, The Times
“David Bolchover has expertly woven one huge, tragic strand of twentieth-century history together with a great footballing story.” – Henry Winter, Chief Football Writer, The Times