Colombian popstar Shakira said Saturday she was pinning her hopes on Paul, the "psychic" Germany-based octopus who has prophesied a Spanish victory in Sunday's World Cup final, dpa reported.
The blonde songstress said she would be rooting for Vicente del Bosque's side against the Netherlands at Soccer City, where she will kickstart a 30-minute closing ceremony with her World Cup anthem "Waka Waka."
"I have to confess that, Hispanic as I am, it is my moral duty to support the Spanish team and also because I have friends on the Spanish team," she told a press conference at Soccer City.
"I hope the octopus doesn't get it wrong for tomorrow," she joked.
The World Cup has made her a "football fanatic," Shakira said, noting she "never imagined I would go straight to the sports section in the newspaper."
"I love the goals I saw from (David) Villa. And I love the way (Spain's Gerard) Pique plays. He's a beautiful defender," she enthused.
Shakira is guest-starring at her second World Cup, having also played out the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
She already took to the stage in Johannesburg last month, when she performed at the World Cup kick-off gig the night before the opening game on June 11.
"The FIFA concert was one of the most emotional experiences of my career," she said. "This has been one of the happiest months in my life."
"I never saw so many people smiling and celebrating in unison," she said, waxing lyrical about South Africa's people, landscapes and wildlife.
"I saw small lion cubs I've been able to stroke," she went on, tossing her blonde mane.
She was also charmed by immigration officials, who performed the "Waka Waka" dance with her when she arrived, she said, pressing her hands together in front of her chest in one of the song's moves.
The self-proclaimed "daughter of Africa" said that her performance Sunday would be an all-female affair because she wanted to honour the strength of African women, with whom she felt a strong kinship.
Joseph Tshabalala, founder of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, a three- time Grammy-winning South African a cappella vocal group that will also be performing at the closing ceremony, said he was happy to be able to return the warm welcome his group had received around the world.
"We have been to their (fans') places," he said. "They are very very good people."