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Paul the Octopus dies

Paul the Octopus, who rose to prominence for his accurate predictions of Germany's matches, has died.

Paul the Octopus retires
Italians claim 'Paolo' the Octopus

Said to have been born in January 2008 in Weymouth, England, the octopus predicted the correct result of all but two of Germany's games during Euro 2008, failing to predict the defeats to Croatia and Spain.

At this summer's World Cup, he maintained a 100% record, getting all Germany's results right before opting for Spain to beat Netherlands in the final.

The octopus would select teams by choosing a food item from one of two boxes emblazoned with the respective countries' flags. He was given a replica World Cup trophy, garnished with three mussels, for his efforts during the tournament in South Africa.

Stefan Porwoll, manager of the Oberhausen Sea Life Centre in Germany that housed Paul, said: "We are consoled by the knowledge that he enjoyed a good life here and that the care provided him by our dedicated displays team could not have been bettered.

"His success made him almost a bigger story than the World Cup itself. We may decide to give Paul his own small burial plot within our grounds and erect a modest permanent shrine.

"While this may seem a curious thing to do for a sea creature, Paul achieved such popularity during his short life that it may be deemed the most appropriate course of action."

His owners rejected offers from bookmakers for Paul after the World Cup as they wanted him to "step back from the official oracle business", but his final prediction was that England would win the rights to host the 2018 World Cup.

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