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Could Goleo's Musical Career Spell the End For Pille?

He first appeared without a voice...or trousers...but now, as his career takes another stratospheric upswing, Goleo releases a solo hit single. But what will happen to Pille now the World Cup lion has found his roar?

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Happier times: The dynamic duo in one of their increasingly rare appearances together

In terms of a recovery, it's right up there with Lazarus coming back from the dead.

A year ago, we were marveling at the bravery of the German World Cup mascot Goleo as he stepped into the global limelight to become the world's most famous mute.

We mopped damp eyes as he bravely tried to communicate with growing numbers of adoring fans via his proxy spokesball Pille. We rejoiced in the scenes of the loveable lion cavorting around the stadiums of Germany despite not being able to utter a single word. He was an example to the legions of speechless carnivores who, until his arrival, had suffered in silence.

Now, however, we could be witness to a miracle. Not only can Goleo now speak without the aid of his spherical sidekick, he can sing. And not only can he sing but he is on the brink of claiming the number one slot in the Germans singles chart with the song "Love Generation."

By appearing on the novelty record with DJ Bob Sinclair and former Bob Marley collaborator Gary Pine, Goleo has astounded medical experts who were convinced that the silent lion would never roar let alone sing. For his fans, the mildly cheesy summer anthem -- perfectly suited for the start of the World Cup in June -- is a celebration of Goleo's remarkable rebirth.

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But is there something more sinister at work? Goleo watchers are perturbed that the furry idol appears alongside his musical team on his first hit record sans Pille.

Goleo's loyal ball, who announced the lion's arrival on the global stage, may be on the cover of the single but his duties as vocalist seem to be surplus to requirements. It could appear to some that now Goleo has found his voice, Pille has been kicked into touch.

Some have even suggested that Goleo was not even mute in the first place and that the whole insane mouthing and mane shaking was the idea of a marketing team who also thought a talking ball would mean euros in the bank. While such wild insinuations have little or no basis at this moment in time, one must wonder why Goleo is now choosing to step out alone and to stretch his 'new' vocal powers.

The bitterest Pille?

Could it be that the trouser-less lion was always the one destined for greatness and that Pille was just there as an attempt to double the merchandise takings? Could it also be that the slightly scary talking sphere failed to find its way into the heart of the nation as Goleo has so obviously done?

Pille - WM-Fußball-Maskottchen

The talking ball won't be gagged

This single signifies much more than Goleo's first assault on the top of the charts. It could be the final act in what could turn out to be one of the most acrimonious splits in showbiz history; one to rival George Michael leaving Wham or even the third break-up of Modern Talking.

DW-WORLD predicts a warts-and-all expose entitled "Talking Balls: Pille's Story" in the shops by Christmas.

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