Which are the rarest Panini World Cup stickers?

The most sought-after Panini stickers dedicated to the World Cup tournament from 1970 to the 1998 France World Cup. 

The first Panini album dedicated to the FIFA World Cup was released in 1970 for the Mexican World Cup. Since then, the arrival of the World Cup has been marked by the release of the Panini collection.

The latest one was for Qatar 2022.

In recent times, especially after the pandemic, the sticker market has started growing to unprecedented levels in Europe. This is mainly due to the increased attention towards soccer from the American market, which had previously been primarily interested in Baseball, Football, and NBA basketball.

The prices for stickers of these sports are in some cases comparable to the investment in a work of art, with costs reaching hundreds of thousands of dollars, and in some instances, even reaching astronomical figures - as seen with the Honus Wagner card, which even had a book written about it.

Now, the European soccer sticker market hasn't quite reached those levels, but the prices have grown significantly, and stickers have been sold at previously unimaginable prices.

Stickers with the highest value possess these characteristics:

  • Excellent preservation condition

  • Stickers that have never been glued

  • Proper alignment on the front and back

  • Perfect corner conditions

  • Perfect edge conditions

  • Excellent front and back surface

Interest in "graded" stickers has also grown significantly, even in Italy. This is a very American trend where, given the prices of the stickers, organizations have emerged that certify the authenticity of the sticker (of course, for a fee) and hermetically seal it, returning it to the collector to ensure better preservation.

But let's now take a look at the most sought-after stickers among those produced by the publishing house in Modena from 1970 to the 1990s.

Mexico 1970

The star of the tournament was Pelé, who is undoubtedly one of the most sought-after stickers in the collection.

It's difficult to find it for less than 500 euros, brand new and never glued.

National team badges and posters are also highly sought after, but with more affordable prices compared to the Brazilian champion (below 100 euros for recovery stickers).

Another highly sought-after superstar is Franz Beckenbauer, who looks really young in the sticker.

Even in this case, for a brand new sticker, it's hard to find one for less than 400 euros.

beckenbauer mexico 70 panini

When we talk about these prices, we're always referring to stickers that haven't been certified.

Among the unexpected ones, the sticker of Jack Charlton is rare, and its price is much higher compared to his more well-known brother Bobby, while the stickers of Eusebio and Garrincha, key figures in the historical section, are appropriately in demand.

The Eusebio sticker below, brand new in perfect condition with a green back, was sold for 40 Euros in the month of June.

Eusebio Panini Mexico '70 sticker

The peculiarities of the Mexico '70 stickers also extend to their backs.

As many of you may know, there are different variations: green and black backs for the stickers distributed in the Italian market, red and black backs for the stickers distributed in international markets, and red and blue backs for the stickers that were included as a bonus inside the album.

Among these, the red and blue back stickers are the most sought-after, as are the "bis-valid" stickers.

These bis-valid stickers allowed collectors to earn extra points by sending them to Panini at that time, which could be used to claim the prizes offered by the collection.

Here are some purchasing tips:

Pelè Mexico '70

Beckenbauer Mexico '70

Mexico '70 stickers

Munchen '74

When we talk about the Panini Monaco '74 collection, there is one standout figure: Johan Cruyff.

Johan Cruyff Panini Munchen '74

The Panini stickers for the 1974 World Cup became adhesive, so finding an unglued Cruyff sticker is akin to finding a treasure.

Price: around 500 euros for an unglued sticker in good condition.

If the sticker is in perfect condition, the price increases and can even reach 700 euros.

If the sticker is certified by a professional organization (like PSA), the price goes up further.

As far as I know, there are no significant differences in the backs of the Monaco '74 stickers, so from this perspective, the sticker in question doesn't have more or less rare variations.

You can find some Cruyff stickers at this link on eBay.

Similarly, in the case of Monaco '74, the Beckenbauer sticker stands out among the most sought-after, both as a key figure of the collection and the World Cup.

A sticker in perfect condition could potentially be worth around 400 euros.

Here are some:

Beckenbauer Sticker Monaco '74

Argentina '78

The 1978 Argentina World Cup has never been among the most celebrated, perhaps due to the political climate of the time, with a dictatorship silently accompanying the entire tournament.

In the Panini collection, one of the most sought-after stickers is definitely that of Paolo Rossi, his first appearance in a national team collection, followed by the sticker of Michel Platini.

Prices vary around a few hundred euros.

Paolo Rossi Panini Argentina '78

Particularly, the Paolo Rossi sticker, in perfect condition, was sold for 100 euros in July of this year.

Platini Panini Argentina '78 sticker

Similarly, the Platini sticker, also in perfect condition, was sold for around 99 euros.

Buying Tips:

Paolo Rossi Sticker Argentina '78

Panini Stickers Argentina '78

Spagna '82

The Spain '82 collection is one that Italians are particularly fond of for obvious reasons.

In this case as well, among the most sought-after stickers is that of Paolo Rossi, a true protagonist of the tournament.

But above all, we find the first appearance of Diego Maradona.

The price here also doesn't go below 400 euros.

Other rare stickers are undoubtedly those of Platini and Zico.

Buying Tips:

Sticker Maradona Spain '82

Sticker Paolo Rossi Spain '82

Mexico 1986

In the Panini Mexico '86 collection, the most sought-after sticker is that of Maradona, who with his performances literally led his team to victory in the World Cup.

There are no other stickers that stand out particularly, except of course for the usual national team badges, which, as in all collections, hold significant value compared to the average of the other stickers.

If you're interested in Maradona stickers, you can find some of our favorite ones of the Argentine footballer here.

Italy '90

Starting from the 1990 Panini collection, the prices of individual stickers start to decrease.

Among the rarest stickers for Italy '90, we find the first appearance of Roberto Baggio in the national team jersey, a sticker that can be worth around 50 euros.

Following that, there are stickers of Van Basten, Gullit, and George Hagi, in addition to the ever-present Diego Maradona.

Buying Tips:

Sticker Roberto Baggio

Sticker Diego Armando Maradona

USA '94

For the Panini Usa '94 collection, those of Diego Maradona, Roberto Baggio, Gabriel Omar Batistuta are at the top of the most sought-after stickers.

The Maradona figurine can be worth around 70/80 euros depending on the state of conservation.

Buying Tips:

Sticker Maradona USA '94

For the USA '94 collection, in Brazil, the stickers of some players are different from the international version released in Italy.

Among the most famous are Bebeto and Romario, with the latter in an unusual bearded version.

France '98

When speaking of the 1998 France Panini collection, the stickers of the Iranian national team cannot be ignored.

In fact, it's a real team and one of the most sought-after.

The reason can be found in this article.

Buying Tips:

Iran Stickers

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