Psychics, Cesc, moles, Super Mario, Nasri, Arshavin and more, it certainly has been an intriguing European championship.
EURO 2012's crew of psychic animals turned out, without exception, to be crap at predicting the outcome of matches. And in hindsight it seems foolish to have been recording the half-baked tips of elephants and Funtik the Soothsayer Hog, when Cesc Fabregas was there all along.
Having hoofed Spain into the final with the winning penalty against Portugal, Fabregas revealed he not only is psychic but is essentially Doctor Doolittle but with sporting equipment.
"When I stepped up to take the penalty I said to the ball that we had to make history and it shouldn't let me down," he said.
"They told me initially to take the second one but I said, 'No give me the fifth', as I had this premonition."
Whether Cristiano Ronaldo had the same premonition with an entirely different outcome is unknown.
The Little Mole Who Knew It Was None of His Business
The one animal who has displayed any special insight whatsoever during this tournament is, perhaps ironically, renowned for its poor vision.
As reported last week, Netherlands blamed a mole for revealing the team's tactics ahead of the embarrassing group stage defeats.
And now eliminated Germany claims a mole was leaking its line-up (presumably this was either a different mole, or we are dealing with one mole who is exceptionally good at accents).
Lukas Podolski, Mario Gomez and Thomas Muller were all rested for the 4-2 quarter-final win over Greece. It was a surprising move, or would have been if the information had not already been made public that afternoon.
"It is a disgrace that the line-up was in the public domain so early," furious captain Philipp Lahm said.
"The person who has the problem is the guy responsible for leaking that information, because at the end of the day, he might be damaging the hopes of a nation.
"Maybe that person hasn't understood how team sports work."
The Circus can think of one irresponsible person who damaged German hopes and, going on past evidence, has little idea how team sports work.
He's probably not the mole but still it has been a remarkable journey from this:
A numbers game
$99,000 – Croatian Football Federation's fine, levied by UEFA, after fans threw a banana and directed monkey noises at Mario Balotelli.
$124,000 – Nicklas Bendtner's fine by UEFA for revealing a bookmaker's name on his underwear while celebrating a goal.
EURO 2012 exit polls, part 3
Samir Nasri tells a journalist: "You are looking for shit, you are looking for trouble" when approached after the defeat by Spain.
When the journalist tells him to "get lost", Nasri replies: "F--- you", and invites him outside to fight.
Later: "Too many false truths are circulating at the moment. I want the supporters, particularly children, to know how much I sincerely regret that my words could have shocked them."
Andrey Arshavin to disappointed Russia fans: "We have not met your expectations? That's your problem, not ours."
Zdravko Mamic, Dinamo Zagreb president, on referee Wolfgang Stark's performance during Croatia's group stage elimination by Spain: "I feel impotent rage. Stark kidnapped our joy, his only wish was to ruin us. In my view, he is an arrogant ignoramus who robbed us. But we will rise above it." (via The Observer)
The spoken word
"We can honestly say it was not among the best products of our talented cartoonist." - Gazzetta dello Sport gets to the nub of the matter after its cartoon depicting Mario Balotelli as a giant ape caused outrage. Yes, it's clearly the quality of the artwork that was the issue.
The newspaper denied racist intent, adding: "A measure of prudence and good taste are necessary because everything, absolutely everything, can be misinterpreted."
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