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Paul has competition, from Mani the parrot

The eight-legged oracle octopus, Paul, may have achieved celebrity status in Europe but there’s another animal wonder that has stumped logic and football pundits by correctly picking out the four semifinalists.

Mani the parakeet (or parrot as we know them in India) is an astrologer’s assistant in Singapore’s Little India and has become quite the local celebrity when he correctly predicted the outcome of the quarterfinal ties as well as the semifinals.

Among the predictions, the most contentious and jaw-dropping was when he picked Netherlands to beat Brazil. His legend and following grew after he was proven right and one of Singapore’s big dailies, The New Paper, made him into a celebrity by asking for his semifinalists picks.

Chomping on seeds and apples between cards, the Malaysian-born Mani hopped out of his cage and made a beeline for Uruguay, the Netherlands, Spain and Germany.

Mani plumped for an Uruguay-Spain final with Spain emerging victorious but the Netherlands proved him wrong, for once, by beating Forlan’s team 3-2. Mani has since reassessed his options and has now bet on Netherlands winning.


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