And this year’s edition is no different as Marcus the pig, Achilles the cat and Nelly the elephant all made their selections before the tournament kicks off in Moscow today.
Achilles, who hails from St Petersburg, rose to fame after a string of correct results in last year’s Confederations Cup.
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Achilles the cat, from St Petersburg, was asked to choose between two bowls of food featuring the Saudi and Russian flags
After choosing Russia the cat was bundled into its own personalised Russian football shirt
Achilles then posed for the cameras next to a Russian flag and football on Tuesday afternoon
This year the feline, whose day job is catching mice at the St Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum, was offered two bowls of food with the flags Russia and Saudi Arabia over each.
And to the content of the gathered Russian and international media, Achilles stayed faithful to the motherland – predicting a Russian victory in the tournament opener against Saudi Arabia this evening.
Elsewhere in the world, Nelly the eight-year-old African elephant, took part in a spectacular penalty shootout at the Serengeti Park zoo in Hodenhagen, northern Germany on Thursday.
The enormous beast was presented with two goals marked with the flags of Germany and Mexico and after slotting a sublime finish between the left-hand sticks – plumped for a German win in their opening group match.
According to the zoo’s staff, Nelly has a hit-rate of more than 90 per cent, since her first appearance as the zoo’s official soccer oracle during the Women’s World Cup in 2011.
Eight-year-old female African elephant Nelly was asked to take part in a penalty shootout to choose the winner of Germany’s opener
The enormous elephant plumped for a German victory over Mexico in the Group F match on Sunday
But none of the animals in contention have a record to match ‘Mystic Marcus’ the micro-pig.
As well as touting Germany to win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Marcus has also correctly predicted the results of Wimbledon, the US election and even the Brexit referendum.
The mystic pig was asked to choose who he believed would make it to the semi-finals of this year’s competition by eating apples.
With bad news for England fans, Mystic Marcus expects Belgium, Argentina, Nigeria and Uruguay to make it through.
Farmer and micro pig breeder Juliette from Heage, Derbyshire, said: ‘Marcus is the seventh child of a seventh child and apparently they’re gifted with special powers so maybe that’s where it comes from.’
Marcus was offered apples with flags denoting the 32 teams taking part in the competition
After eating Argentina, right, he sniffed out Saudi Arabia and Iran before choosing Nigeria
Another animal to get in on the action was Siberian Tiger Wolodja from the German town of Chemnitz.
The magnificent beast was also asked to choose the winner of the opening game between Russia and Saudi Arabia.
To everyone’s surprise, however, the tiger refused to pick either side – perhaps indicating it believes the opener will end in a draw.
It remains to be seen whether any of the animals can reach the lofty heights achieved by Paul the Octopus in 2010.
But it looks like creatures from across the animal kingdom have been keen to have their say on this year’s tournament.
The Siberian Tiger Wolodja inspects boxes displaying the Russian and Saudi flags at the animal park in Chemnitz, eastern Germany on Wednesday
Wolodja was unable to pick a winner between the two – indicating a possible draw in the tournament’s opening match in Moscow
And whatever happened to Paul the Psychic Octopus
Paul the Psychic Octopus was the unlikely star of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
The English-born mollusc correctly predicted the outcome of eight matches during the competition – including the final – from his tank at the Oberhausen Sea Life Aquarium in Germany.
Staff at the aquarium fed Paul mussels carrying the colours of either Germany or their opponents during the competition. Whichever mussel Paul ate first went on to win the game.
Paul the Octopus, pictured, became a household star during the 2010 World Cup
He correctly predicted the results of all of Germany’s games before deciding on Spain to beat The Netherlands in the final in Johannesburg on July 11, 2010
Unfortunately, Paul died in October 2010 aged two-and-a-half and without passing on his rare talent to any offspring.
According to AFP a Chinese monkey known as Geda also has a gift for predicting the future.
He successfully backed Donald Trump to defeat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.
He also picked Portugal to win the European Championships of the same year.
Then, the monkey was presented with the national flags of Portugal and France with bananas on both. It finally walked towards the national flag of Portugal and ate a banana there, the report said.
Author: Nancy Parker
Nancy Parker is a five time Emmy Award winning journalist and seven time Emmy nominee who has spent almost twenty five years covering news in South Louisiana. She has anchored every prime time newscast at WVUE FOX8 during her twenty year tenure in New Orleans.