Dubai: The world will be watching Croatia and France battle it out on the pitch at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on Sunday night for the World Cup trophy, but fans of Shaheen the World Cup predicting camel will be just as intrigued to see if he can go out in winning style.
Gulf News’ unforgiving ungulate was bang on when he correctly called the demise of England and Belgium in the semi-finals, having earlier nailed an astounding six out of eight results in the round of 16.
Now he has put his somewhat hefty weight behind the red and white clan from Eastern Europe to overcome the might of 1998 champions France and see a new name etched on the base of the famous trophy.
Yes, never afraid to go for the underdog, Shaheen is backing Croatia to make a massive piece of history for the tiny Balkan nation by denying Didier Deschamps’ star-studded mob, including Antoine Griezmann, Olivier Giroud, Kylian Mbappe, Ngolo Kante, Raphael Varane, Samuel Umtiti and Hugo Lloris.
He is lumping his hump behind the UAE’s favourite coach Zlatko Dalic and his band of unlikely lads - only Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric was a household name before this tournament - to take their place among the greats from Brazil, Germany, Italy and Uruguay and become only the ninth nation to lift the trophy.
He has been wrong before, backing Argentina, Brazil and Germany in the group stages when they all had a blip. But with a success rate throughout the tournament of around 66 per cent, who are we to question the nomadic know-it-all?