HERE'S how it started:

Sixty-four games ago, jovial bets among friends were made—each making their own daring forecasts and staking their claims on their favorite teams. As the games progressed, and as teams lost, alliances and fanaticism were reshuffled to match another team.

Brazil, Italy, Germany and England, known as the elite teams for their power and ability to go from zero to full throttle with a snap of a finger, played with heart and passion but lost early, save for Germany.

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As the finals grew nearer, soccer fans scoured the new sites for any sign of hope. The fans of Spain chose the unlikeliest beacon of hope: Paul, the octopus, who lives at a Sea Life Centre in Oberhausen, Germany.

This amazing creature has correctly predicted all of Germany’s games, including their loss to Serbia in group stage. In the knockout phase, Paul’s predictions were right on, too.

He predicted that Germany will win against England and Argentina, but lose to Spain in the semi-final too!

According to soccerleaguenews.com, although Paul was guessing the outcome of Germany’s games only during the whole tournament, he was to do one last prediction, which was regarding the final between Holland and Spain. The psychic octopus foretold that Spain will win.

As of press time, his owner has officially said that Paul the Octopus has retired and will not be predicting any more results.

The lifetime of an octopus is usually around five years the most, so he won’t make it tell next World Cup anyway.

In Cebu, we celebrate Paul the Octopus. Hardcore fanatics did not disappoint as they came out by the SUV-load at two in the morning, heading off to various establishments.

This writer chose the establishment that made her fall in love with the game in the first place, Joker’s Arms along AS Fortuna.

Some played it smart and staked out their cheering spot as early as 10pm of that evening.

Fatigue, high blood pressure, palpitations, and the tendency to believe in animal predictions are common symptoms of the most ardent fans. This is one crazy game. See in four years!