It’s Paolo, not Paul. Italian media claimed as their own the “psychic” octopus who accurately predicts World Cup results after his trainer in Germany on Sunday revealed he was caught in Italian waters.
“The octopus’ name is Paolo,” wrote sports newspaper Tuttosport on its website.
The news is “a small satisfaction for Italy at the end of a tournament that has given the Azzurri very little joy,” wrote daily Il Corriere della Sera on its website.
Verena Bartsch, the octopus’ trainer on Sunday told the Sunday edition of Germany’s Bild tabloid newspaper that she caught him in April in the sea off the Italian island of Elba, near Tuscany. He was four weeks old at the time.
Bartsch’s version conflicts with Paul’s official biography, according to which the octopus is two years old and came from Weymouth, England, before moving to an aquarium in western Germany.
Paul has accurately predicted seven out of seven games from his aquarium home, where he is given two boxes, each containing a mussel and the flag of the two competing World Cup teams.
He has predicted that Spain will beat the Netherlands in Sunday’s World Cup final.
“In its own way, Italy is also the star of the 2010 World Cup,” wrote Italian newspaper La Repubblica’s online version, after the 2006 champions’ disastrous exit from the World Cup in the early stages of the tournament.
Italy were embarrassingly bundled out of the World Cup following a shock 3-2 defeat to Slovakia on June 24, ending at the bottom of what had looked like a fairly easy Group F.
[Update for this post was made via AFP.com]