Friday, July 9, 2010

Paul the 'psychic' octopus predicts wins for Germany and Spain

The cephalopod oracle has spoken. Germany will beat Uruguay in the third-place play-off on Saturday and Spain will defeat the Netherlands in the World Cup final on Sunday, according to the "psychic" octopus Paul, who has an unblemished record in picking winners this tournament.

The eight-legged clairvoyant, who has become a sensation by correctly predicting all six Germany matches this tournament, plumped for his country of residence on Friday in an event carried live on national television.

In the now familiar routine, two boxes were lowered into his tank, each containing a mussel and the flags of the two opposing teams.

The two-year-old mollusc medium took a brief rest before predicting Spain would beat the Netherlands in the final to hoist the World Cup this year.

But the supernatural art of making football predictions has become a dangerous job for the English-born cephalopod, as some bitter German fans have threatened to turn him into sushi after he predicted a semi-final defeat for Die Mannschaft.

Paul's home, an aquarium in the western German city of Oberhausen, has received death-threat emails saying "we want Paul for the pan," said entertainment supervisor Daniel Fey.

"Since yesterday our colleagues have kept a very close eye on Paul," Fey added.

Even Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luiz Rodriguez Zapatero has called for octopus bodyguards.

"I am concerned for the octopus ... I am thinking of sending him a protective team," joked Zapatero on Radio Cadena Ser.

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