BERLIN - Some Germans are calling
for a public roasting of the oracle octopus who correctly picked
the winner of all six of their national football team's World Cup
matches - including a bitter defeat to Spain on Wednesday.
Paul, a two-year-old octopus in a German aquarium, turned
into a global celebrity for his uncanny ability to predict the
winner of all Germany's matches - even a group stage defeat to
Serbia and an ousting by Spain in the semi-finals.
"Nothing beats grilled octopus," said Dolores Lusch, a
Germany fan who works on a Berlin fish stall. "Cut him up in
thin slices and grill him on all sides with a dash of lemon
juice, olive oil and garlic on it. Delicious!"
Not an ordinarily superstitious people, Germans became
believers in Paul's possible psychic powers. The country was
shocked and distraught when he picked Spain to win after tipping
German wins over Argentina, England, Ghana and Australia.
German newspapers and websites were filled with suggestions
of what to do with Paul - most involved cooking and eating him.
"Throw him in the frying pan," wrote the Berliner Kurier
newspaper in a popular sentiment echoed by Die Welt,
Sueddeutsche Zeitung, the Hamburger Abendblatt and other
Paul's picks have become news across Germany and around the
world. German networks have had live reports on Paul's picks.
On Friday, Paul will tip the winner of Saturday's
Germany-Uruguay match for third place as well as the winner of
the Spain-Netherlands final on Sunday. Networks in Germany,
Spain and the Netherlands are planning live coverage.
The octopus, considered by some to be the most intelligent
of all invertebrates, gets the choice of picking food from two
different transparent containers lowered into his tank - one
with a German flag on it and one with the opponent's flag.
The container Paul opens first is regarded as his pick.
Media attention over Paul's picks in Germany and abroad has
grown exponentially and some commentators even wondered aloud
whether his improbable winning streak might have begun to
influence some of the more superstitious players.
Despite the antipathy towards Paul, Sea Life spokeswoman
Tanja Munzig said Paul has a bright future at his home in
"Nothing bad will happen to Paul," she said. "No one wishes
him ill-will. Paul has had a great run."
Munzig added that Paul's career might go on.
"We've had some enquiries about his future," she said.
Follow FFT.com on Twitter
Join FFT.com on Facebook
Bayern fans snap up 45,000 tickets to watch Champions League final live at Allianz Arena
When Sir Alex wakes up on Monday morning without team to manage, he will not be putting his feet up
Paris Saint-Germain midfielder announces he will be retiring at the end of the current season
Record goal-scorer signs a one-year contract extension with Europa League winners Chelsea
Ten years on, the legends speak to FFT
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
He's here, he's there, he's...
The cost of Premier League away travel
Nike CR7 IX for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010