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WORLD CUP oracle Paul the Octopus has died at the age of 2 years and 10 months in his tank at the Oberhausen Sea Life Centre in Germany. He passed away peacefully in his sleep. 😦

Over the course of this summer’s FIFA World Cup in South Africa, Weymouth hatched Paul became the most famous animal on the planet. He outshone every single player and event at the tournament by predicting the winner in all seven of his adoptive country’s matches. This included Germany’s shock loss to Serbia (0-1) in their second match and their eventual elimination to Spain (also 0-1) in the Semi-Finals.

Everybody wanted to know who Paul thought would win the Final, and his prediction was broadcast live around the globe. He chose Spain over the Netherlands, and the Spanish went on to beat the Dutch 1-0 after extra-time in the Final (a.k.a. – The Battle of Johannesburg).

The odds of correctly predicating the winners in all eight matches have been given at 256/1.

It is also heavily rumoured – although denied by his keeper – that Paul correctly predicted four of Germany’s six matches in Euro 2008. He is reported to have gotten wrong Croatia’s win over Germany and Spain’s win over Germany in the Final.

Needles to say, Paul made several enemies as a result of his predictions. When Spain beat Germany the German newspaper Westfälische Rundschau accused him of betrayal. I take it they didn’t know he was English. The Spanish government then stepped in with their PM, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero offering him safe-haven in Spain. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad used a speech in Tehran to publicly attack Paul, saying that the west was using him as a propaganda tool. Err, Mahmoud…he’s just an Octopus.

The Sea Life Centre retired Paul the day after the Final, and presented to him his very own replica World Cup trophy and an extra portion of his favourite food – and prediction making tools – mussels.

But Paul kept himself busy in his retirement, and in August he became an official ambassador for England’s 2018 World Cup bid.

Alas, he would not live to see if his home country would be awarded the tournament. Octopuses rarely live beyond the age of 2, so he actually had a long life by his species standards.

P92: “Rest in peace Paul. You were the best thing to come out of what was a pretty dyer World Cup.”

Zakumi (from Jo’burg): “Hey it wasn’t that bad. But seriously, Paul if you can hear me up there in that big fish tank in the sky, we will miss you terribly.”

P92 (raises a full glass): “To Paul.”

Zakumi (raises glass): “Here here, to Paul.”


FINALLY, I am able to post my very own awards for the 2010 World Cup.

Best Picture

Fernando Torres with the World Cup and a Liverpool scarf

See it on my ‘About Pickle92 page’. What a message to send to us fans.

Worst Team


Public in-fighting, players refusing to train and insulting the manager who himself was clueless.

Most Disappointing Team


We were supposed to have one of our best ever World Cups, but instead had our worst.

Villain of the World Cup

Luis Suárez

Handball on the line cost Ghana a place in the last four. He then said that his was the true hand of God, and that he pulled off the save of the tournament.

Pipe and Slippers Team


They were an old team four years ago, and many of that squad were in South Africa.

Best Underdogs


Made it into the last 16 after beating Italy.

Best Match

Slovakia 3-2 Italy

Slovakia knockout the reigning Champions, who wouldn’t go down without a fight.

Worst Match

Portugal 0-0 Brazil

Two of the best teams in the world played as if they just didn’t care.

Worst Timing


I missed England’s goal against U.S.A. because an advert came on.

Most Proud Player

Jong Tae-Se of North Korea

He cried his eyes out during his countries anthem against Brazil. Many players can learn a lot from him.

My Biggest Cheer

Tshabalala’s goal against Mexico

Fantastic goal to give the host nation the lead in the opening game.

Teams Other than England who at one point had My Support

South Africa, New Zealand, North Korea (all three games), Slovakia, Netherlands, Germany, Spain and the English Officials (all games)

Best Story

Iker Casillas forgetting to post his father’s £1million pools coupon

Worst Quote

Wayne Rooney

“Nice to see your home fans booing ya. That’s what loyal support is.” This was after England drew 0-0 with Algeria.

Worst Play Acting

Kader Keïta of Côte d’Ivoire

He faked injury after running into Kaká and got the Brazilian sent-off.

Red Mist Award

Sani Kaita of Nigeria

He kicked a Greek player whilst off the field when his team were 1-0 up. They went on to lose 1-2.

Worst Injury / Brave Little Solider Award

Zdeno Štrba of Slovakia

Had his knee cut open against Italy, but still played on for another 40 minutes!

Best TV Pundit

Marcel Desailly (ITV)

For saying what we were all thinking about England, and for his reactions when his birthland (Ghana) scored (see below).

Best Individual Performance

Paul the Octopus

He predicted the correct winners in all of Germany’s seven matches (including their shock loss to Serbia). He also correctly predicted that Spain would win the Final.

English hatched Paul cost bookmaker William Hill £500,000 alone. He has now retired from Football and since returned to his day job in Oberhausen’s Sea Life Centre in Germany.

Zakumi: “Well that’s it then. Our time together is over.”

P92: “It’s been brilliant having you with me during your World Cup man.”

Zakumi: “I’ll keep in touch. If anything else comes up about the 2010 World Cup on this blog I’ll be here.”

P92: “I hope you have enjoyed our coverage of the World Cup, and thank you for reading it.”

Zakumi: “Bye everybody.”