WC 2010: 'Psychic' octopus seals perfect prediction record

Johannesburg- South Africa (PANA) -- Paul the "psychic" octopus finished the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa with a flawless record as Spain's 1-0 win over t h e Netherlands in Sunday's final left him with eight perfect predictions.
The eight-legged oracle has become a FIFA World Cup sensation by correctly forec asting all seven Germany games in South Africa and it finished the tournament in style by predicting a Spanish victory in the Soccer City sign-off.
As Paul foretold last week, Spain won their first world title after Andres Inies ta's 116th-minute strike broke the Netherlands' hearts.
The tentacled tipster also correctly predicted Germany would beat Uruguay in Sat urday's third place play-off.
In the now familiar routine, two boxes were lowered into his tank last week, eac h containing a mussel and the flags of the two opposing teams.
Paul went straigh t to the correct box both times, wrenched open the lid and gobbled the tasty mors e l.
But the art of football predicting has become a dangerous job for the English-bo rn clairvoyant.
It fell offside with bitter German fans who threatened to turn i t into sushi after it predicted a semi-final defeat for the Mannschaft against Sp a in.
Paul's home, an aquarium in Germany, has received death-threat emails, saying "w e want Paul for the pan," said entertainment supervisor Daniel Fey.
No less an authority than Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luiz Rodriguez Zapatero ha s called for octopus bodyguards.
Spanish Industry Minister Miguel Sebastian has called for the creature to be giv en an "immediate" free transfer to Spain to "ensure his protection.
" Stung by Paul's "treachery" at picking Spain over Germany in last Wednesday's se mi-final, some sections of the 350,000-strong crowd watching the game on giant s c reens in Berlin sang anti-octopus songs.
Its prediction of a Spanish victory is expected to be the last for Paul, who in octopus terms is a pensioner, at the grand old age of two-and-a-half.
Octopuses generally live three years at the latest.

12 juillet 2010 07:07:00

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