Image: A participant dresses Achilles the cat, one of the State Hermitage Museum mice hunters, which attempts to predict the result of the opening match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup between Russia and Saudi Arabia during an event in Saint Petersburg, Russia June 13, 2018. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
ST PETERSBURG, Russia (Reuters) – Want to know who will win the first match of the World Cup? The cat’s out of the bag: it’s Russia.
At least that’s the prediction of Achilles, a cat in St Petersburg reputed to have psychic powers.
Offered a choice of two bowls of food, the white feline hesitated before choosing one with the Russian flag, dismissing Saudi Arabia’s chances of a win in Moscow on Thursday – a relief to the host nation, considered one of the weakest sides in the tournament despite the home advantage.
Achilles, who lives in St Petersburg’s Hermitage museum, is deaf, something his minders say means he will not be easily distracted by onlookers while making his prediction. They did not say whether the sight of the national flags might sway his choice.
The World Cup will be played at venues across Russia until the final on July 15.
(Writing by Robin Pomeroy; Editing by Alison Williams)
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