Football-loving Germans have been shocked by the latest prediction of their so-called “oracle octopus” after it picked out Spain to win their World Cup semi-final clash.
The tentacled tipster Paul has an unblemished record on picking the winner as he chooses which food to eat from his tank.
But a Spanish bar owner was surprisingly unimpressed.
“The octopus can eat whatever clam it wants. Spain will win against Germany,” he said.
One of his clients agreed: “You don’t need to be a clam. If you are a Real Madrid fan and if you know a little about football, then you realise that Spain will win.”
In Madrid’s tapas bars, Octopuses are more usually eaten rather than consulted over football fixtures.
But German tourists enjoying the delicacy hope Paul is fallible.
“Well, he was always right up until now but everyone can make a mistake and that is why I am hoping we will win nevertheless,” said one tourist.
Another was more confident.
“I also think that Germany is going to win. I am keeping my fingers crossed and I am already looking forward to the match,” she said.
Footballers are notoriously superstitious, so Germany’s young side might be unsettled, but, knowing the Octopus was born in England, perhaps Paul is just getting his own back.