World Cup: Did 'The Simpsons' Predict Who Would Play in the Final?

A 1997 episode touts a final between Portugal and Mexico, with bookmakers now slashing odds on it happening.

The Simpsons has a proven — and somewhat unnerving — ability of being able to predict the future, having foretold Fox being bought out by Disney, the U.S. men's curling team beating Sweden in the Winter Olympics and, most famously, the ascendancy of Donald Trump to president

But could the show have predicted the upcoming World Cup soccer final? 

In a 1997 episode entitled The Cartridge Family, the Simpson family is seen watching an ad for the World Cup, which touts a final between Mexico and Portugal. Although the episode doesn't mention the year, social media users have pointed out a recent link to the Mexico team.

"Although there is no clear indication of what year the match takes places in, one detail has led viewers to believe that it's the 2018 World Cup final," wrote Portuguese newspaper Eco. "There seems to be a reference to the scandal that recently plagued the Mexican team who allegedly partied with several women before the beginning of the tournament."

Logistically, the match could feasibly happen. Following Portugal's 1-1 draw with Iran on Monday, the team finished second in the group stage and now goes through to the last 16. Mexico is already through with two wins, but plays Sweden on Wednesday. Should it end up topping its group, there's only one way that Mexico and Portugal could meet: in the final.

According to one U.K. bookmaker, the number of bets on a Mexico/Portugal final have reduced the odds from 500/1 to 33/1. One customer at William Hill reportedly placed a £1,000 ($1,320) bet and stands to win $132,000. 

"Should the two sides reach the final, we stand to lose £670,000 ($885,000)," said a William Hill representative. "This isn’t just a frivolous pound here or there, people are wagering up to £1,000 a time and it is our worst result in the predict-the-final market."

See a clip from the episode of The Simpsons below