SINGAPORE - Paul the "psychic" octopus has a rival.
A Singapore parakeet which correctly predicted all four winners in the World Cup quarter-finals has picked the Netherlands to trump Spain for the championship, local media said Friday.
The bird, named Mani, has rapidly gained cult status among gambling-mad soccer fans who have been flocking to its owner's shop in Singapore's Little India district in the hope of winning big.
Local media reports said Mani used its beak to pick a card bearing the flag of the Netherlands over one with Spain's national colours.
"With the World Cup in its final stage, Mani is now literally the talk of the town - and many are going with its prediction of the Dutch team winning its first-ever World Cup title," Channel NewsAsia said on its website.
It said Mani and its owner, astrologer M. Muniyappan, used to see about 10 customers on an average day but now they entertain the same number in just one hour.
Dubbed "magical bird" and "homegrown psychic parakeet" by the local media, Mani accurately predicted the outcome of the game in which Spain won over Germany to set the showdown with the Netherlands, which beat Paraguay.
With the sport watched by millions of people worldwide, Mani is competing for stardom with Paul, the octopus in Germany which has also used its "psychic" powers to accurately pick winners.
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