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Achilles the cat picks Russia to win FIFA World Cup 2018 opener

Achilles the cat, who is being touted as the official oracle of FIFA World Cup 2018, picked Russia to win their FIFA World Cup 2018 opening encounter against Saudi Arabia on Thursday.

football Updated: Jun 13, 2018 21:12 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
FIFA World Cup 2018,Achilles the cat,FIFA World Cup 2018 opener
Achilles the cat lies on a table after attempting to predict the result of the opening match of the FIFA World Cup 2018.(AP)

Achilles the cat, who is being touted as the official oracle of FIFA World Cup 2018, has predicted that Russia will beat Saudi Arabia in the opening match of the tournament in Moscow on Thursday.

Achilles was given two bowls of cat food with the flags of the competing sides and the deaf, white cat chose the one with the Russian flag.

READ | FIFA World Cup 2018: Russia look to excel against Saudi Arabia in opener

Achilles, who is a resident of Russia’s State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, correctly predicted the outcomes of three out of four 2017 Confederations Cup matches played in St. Petersburg, including the opening and final matches.

“We went for Achilles because he is beautiful, first of all, but also because -- like all white cats with blue eyes -- he is deaf, so he has a great deal of intuition, he sees with his heart,” said Anna Kasatkina, a vet who oversees guard-cats at Saint Petersburg’s Hermitage museum.

READ | FIFA World Cup 2018: Let the games begin!

Achilles is following in the tentacle-prints of Paul the Octopus who became a star in 2010. The octopus, which resided at the Sea Life Centre in Oberhausen, Germany, correctly predicted all the matches of the German team during the World Cup and even went on to predict the victory of Spain in the final.

Swiss guinea pig Madame Shiva made a play for the crown in 2014, as did British Piranha Pele, but neither quite had Paul’s foresight. However, Achilles has gained a lot of popularity in the past few months and football fans will surely be following his predictions closely during the FIFA World Cup 2018.

(With Agency inputs)

First Published: Jun 13, 2018 21:10 IST