FIFA World Cup: Dubai penguin Toby predicts winners before each game

Toby’s handler Ahmed told the press, "He's very curious, and he's always watching things around him. Of course, his attention span is short, but his focus is strong."

Paul the octopus has captivated the imagination of World Cup fans ever since he made a sensation at the World Cup 2010 in South Africa.

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Back in 2010, the famous octopus, residing at the Sea Life Center in Oberhausen, Germany, correctly predicted the winner of all seven of Germany’s matches. At the World Cup 2022 in Qatar, the penguin became the champion, by predicting the results of the matches.

The British newspaper, Middle East Eye, said that in the World Cup 2022, two heroes appeared that compete with the octopus Paul— the first is an 8-year-old Asian small-clawed otter named Taiyo, who became a hero in Japan after predicting the team’s 2-1 victory over Germany, and the second from the Middle East named Toby. 

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He is a Gentoo penguin who lives in Ski Dubai, an indoor ski resort located inside one of the largest shopping malls in the world.

Qatar World Cup champion 

On Tuesday, November 22, 2022, 12-year-old Toby, predicted one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history: Saudi Arabia’s 2-1 victory over mighty Argentina.

Instead of lying down and eating a bucket full of fish celebrating the success, Toby – who the official described as -being “the smartest of all” the penguins he patronizes, predicts Japan’s defeat of Germany next, the Gentoo Penguin continues to instantly predict Spain’s victory over Costa Rica.

Toby’s handler Ahmed told the press, “He’s very curious, and he’s always watching things around him. Of course, his attention span is short, but his focus is strong.”

By joining Paul in the ranks of the World Cup’s top fortune-tellers, Toby is now among a group of world-famous animals, including Simon the cat, who survived a cannon attack; Wojtek the soldier bear, who drank alcohol, ate cigarettes and was drafted into the Polish army; and Tama the cat, who was the station master of a Japanese railway station.

World Cup 2010 champion

It is noteworthy that the octopus Paul caught the eye in South Africa, and his guards presented him with two transparent boxes containing either mussels or oysters, and the two boxes represent the teams that play, and whatever Paul refers to, he is considered the winner.

The deep-sea fortune teller moved from Germany’s matches to predict Spain’s victory in the final of the 2010 championship. The Spaniards won rightfully, and the octopus became a champion in Spain. 

While Paul’s fame was such that he attracted high-profile criticism, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad described the octopus as a symbol of decadence and dissolution among his “enemies,” and Ahmadinejad even stated that the act was spreading “Western propaganda and myths.”

Either way, Paul, who died shortly after the conclusion of the World Cup 2010, left a long legacy.

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