Doha (AFP) – The 2010 World Cup had Paul the Octopus, the NFL has play-call predictor extraordinaire Tony Romo, and this year’s Asian Cup has Barcelona great, and now soothsayer, Xavi Hernandez.
The Spanish World Cup winner has proved remarkably skilled off the pitch as well as on it, with a series of stunning predictions about what would happen in the tournament.
He has an almost 100 percent record, including picking Qatar and Japan as surprise finalists.
Before that he correctly predicted seven of the last eight quarter-finalists and three of the four semi-finalists.
The only predictions he has got wrong so far is tipping Syria to get to the last eight — Vietnam did instead — and Australia to make the semi-finals, but they lost to the United Arab Emirates.
But apart from that, Xavi has proved remarkably prescient.
He was ridiculed online after he went on Doha-based TV station Al Kass in December and publicly announced his predictions for the tournament.
Many accused the Doha-based star of home town bias after picking Qatar to reach the final but Xavi is having the last laugh.
For Friday’s final, the Al Sadd star and 2022 World Cup ambassador has, perhaps unsurprisingly, predicted Qatar to lift the trophy for the first ever time.
But as he is matching Paul the Octopus, who managed 85 per cent in 2010 including correctly selecting Xavi’s Spain to lift the World Cup, there is a good chance the Spaniard will be proved correct.