Diego Forlan may have won the Golden Ball award, Thomas Mueller the Golden Boot – but no-one is in any doubt as to who was the real star of the World Cup.
Paul the Octopus attracted crowds who queued round the block of the Sea Life aquarium in Oberhausen, German – after he proved that on the day his tentacles put the combined limbs of Ronaldo and Rooney, Messi and Ribery to shame.
Visitor Rafael Laisser said: “I find it totally bizarre that an octopus would be able to predict something like that. I think it’s rather a coincidence.”
A disappointed German fan remarked: “I don’t believe in it. It is pretty remarkable but what can you do? Unfortunately he was right.”
The ‘unfortunately’ refers to the fact that Paul correctly foresaw Germany’s semi-final demise, but only after repeated successes in previous rounds.
He predicted accurately the result of each match he was asked to – including Germany’s defeat against Serbia and victory over Uruguay in the match for third place.
The odds of such a feat being accomplished have been estimated at 356-1.
The English-born octopus – how they are wishing he could have played for them – now intends to swim off proudly into the underwater sunset.
Sea Life entertainment supervisor, Daniel Fey, said:
“Pyschic Paul has more than made amends for getting the Euro 2008 final wrong. Free from World Cup pressure, he can now retire in peace.”