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Paul’s call the gospel truth

marciadottin, [email protected]

Paul’s call the gospel truth

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JOHANNESBURG – The mystic mollusc confirmed his flawless accuracy after Spain lifted the World Cup Trophy by beating the Netherlands 1-0 yesterday.Paul The Octopus has become England’s only hero of the tournament after accurately foretelling the result of all six matches involving Germany.The Dorset-born soothsayer also won privileged status in Spain after he predicted that its footballers would defeat the Dutch at Soccer City stadium.Even the Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luiz Rodriguez Zapatero expressed his affection for the creature after his prediction was announced on Friday.“I am concerned for the octopus. I am thinking of sending him a protective team,” Zapatero said.Elena Espinosa, the Spanish environment and fisheries minister also swore to protect Paul.“On Monday, I shall be at the European Council of Ministers and I shall be asking for a [fishing] ban on Paul The Octopus so the Germans do not eat him,” Espinosa said.Paul’s call looked to be in doubt as the game was still goalless after 90 minutes and there was still no clear winner with only four minutes of extra time remaining.Devastating shotHowever, with The Netherlands down to ten men, Andres Iniesta sent the Spaniards into the lead with a devastating shot from the edge of the box.Moments later, Spain were celebrating taking their first ever World Cup title.Paul, a common octopus, has astounded the world of football with his forecasts, so much so that people have began betting on them rather than the outcomes of the matches themselves.He was born at the Sea Life Centre in Weymouth but developed his soothsaying skills after being transferred to Sea Life Oberhausen, an aquarium in western Germany.Keepers devised a dinnertime game in which he was offered the choice of two glass boxes containing a mussel.During the Euro 2008 Football Championships, flags of the competing sides were placed on the containers and it was noted that on almost every occasion, the team that Paul’s tentacle touched first went on to win their match.The trick was repeated at the start of South Africa’s World Cup for Germany’s games, and as the tournament progressed his uncannily accurate predictions were followed ever more closely.Paul guessed the outcome of all Germany’s group games, including their shock loss to lowly Serbia, as well as their defeat of England and Argentina in subsequent rounds.National anguishThere was national anguish after he picked the container bearing the Spanish flag ahead of Wednesday night’s semi-final, with angry fans calling for him to be “thrown into the shark tank”.When Spain beat Germany, preserving his 100 per cent record, “anti-octopus” songs were aired in Berlin while Spanish fans chanted his name at the stadium in Durban. (Daily Telegraph)