Spaniards want to rechristen Paul the octopus as Pablo

Last Updated: Fri, Jul 09, 2010 14:50 hrs

Africa), July 9 (IANS) The Spanish team has fallen in love with Paul the octopus after it predicted that Spain will beat the Netherlands in the World Cup final.

All of Paul's predictions have been true in this World Cup, bestowing international fame on the 'psychic' sea creature.

Spain's defensive midfielder Sergio Busquets said Friday that the Spaniards are in love with the octopus and and out of gratitude they want to re-christen it Pablo.

'We guess it is a Spanish octopus. We are in love with it and want to name it Pablo,' said Busquets.

Paul will be hoping to keep a perfect record for South Africa 2010, having correctly predicted four Germany victories and two losses in the tournament. Paul, at the Oberhausen Sea Life aquarium in Germany, is now hated by the Germans after predicting Spain's victory over Germany in the semifinal.

His final round of prediction was eagerly awaited not only by football lovers across the world, but also by the players of finalists Spain and the Netherlands.

At the aquarium, two glass cubes, marked with flags of Spain and Netherlands, were baited with mussels for Paul. The prophetic octupus chose the Spanish tank.

Paul first shot into limelight during the 2008 European Championship during which his five out of six games involving Germany were proved correct. But in this World Cup Paul has made international headlines.

So much so that Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero is worried about the safety of 'El Pulpo Paul,' as he's known in Spain, and has offered Paul protection after its semifinal predictions were proved right.

(Abhishek Roy can be contacted at