World Cup 2018: Mystic micro pig chooses semi-finalists

image copyrightMercury Press
image captionMystic Marcus ate 28 apples, with flags of each nation, and left four which it is claimed will make the semi-finals

A pig with "special powers" has chosen the four nations that will reach the World Cup semi-finals - and England is not one of them.

Mystic Marcus, a micro pig from Heage, Derbyshire, chose Belgium, Argentina, Nigeria and Uruguay.

He did it by eating apples marked with the flags of all the other teams.

He correctly predicted the outcome of the 2014 Fifa World Cup, the Brexit referendum and Donald Trump's election, said owner Juliette Stevens.

So far his World Cup predictions appear to be on the nose - or snout - as Uruguay brought home the bacon with a dramatic victory over Egypt.

The pig breeder 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."

Ms Stevens has about 100 animals on her farm, but Marcus holds a "special place in her heart".

image copyrightMercury Press
image captionMystic Marcus has "special powers" said his owner

She said: "He's got a lovely personality, he's totally unfazed by all the fuss.

"He's really chilled out and happy to go and do stuff. He takes it all in his stride."

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However, despite the breeder's claim of a "100% success rate" Mystic Marcus has slipped up a few times.

In 2016, the micro pig backed Derby County to beat Hull City in the Championship play-off semi-final after choosing the apples with the club's badge. The Rams lost 3-0.

They did win the second leg 2-0 though. Maybe that is what he meant?

Also, the teams he has predicted will make the World Cup semi-finals cannot all reach the last four without at least two of them meeting in one of the quarter-finals.

But, there is a chance he could choose the winner - in 2010, during the World Cup Finals in South Africa, an octopus named Paul correctly predicted the winners of eight matches, including the eventual winner Spain.

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