David Lee in Russia for the World Cup: Big cat Leo Messi will go home, predicts little feline Achilles

Achilles the clairvoyant cat predicted that Nigeria would win against Argentina in their final Group D match.
Achilles the clairvoyant cat predicted that Nigeria would win against Argentina in their final Group D match.PHOTO: REUTERS

ST PETERSBURG - Nigeria are going to beat Argentina in their final Group D match on Tuesday (2am, Wednesday morning, Singapore time) and send Lionel Messi and Co. packing.

Don't just take it from us, it is Achilles the clairvoyant cat that made the bold prediction here at the Hermitage Museum on Tuesday (June 26) morning in St Petersburg.

A media scrum had gathered to see who Achilles - one of 60 felines who live in the cellar to protect the museum from rats - would pick.

After a tense start, he ate from the bowl of cat food bearing the African nation's flag as cameras clicked away and a few sniggers could be heard.

The beautiful two-year-old white cat with piercing blue eyes may be deaf, but he definitely knows his football.

At last year's Confederations Cup, he was spot on in three predictions, and a fourth was void because he did not eat from any bowl and the match ended in a draw.

He also does not appear to have an Achilles heel for this World Cup too, accurately tipping Russia to beat Saudi Arabia and Egypt, Iran to beat Morocco, and Brazil to overcome Costa Rica for a perfect 4-0 record.

Will big cat Leo escape the claws of defeat or will Achilles maintain his purrfect streak? Well, all things are pawssible. Stay tuned to ST's live blog tonight and get the latest updates on our www.straitstimes.com/world-cup-2018.

 

The use of animals to forecast winners at the World Cup is a fairly recent fad. Paul the Octopus became a global sensation when he was correct in 12 out of 14 picks at World Cup 2010, and since then, various animals from tapirs to tigers have been employed to varying success.

In Singapore, we've had Mani the Parakeet (World Cup 2010) and ST had its own "seers" too in hamsters Tiki and Taka (2014), and Neymar-Mite (2018).