The 2022 Panini World Cup sticker album has been released – but to fill it, fans may have to spend more than they thought.
Each World Cup has reignited the popular pastime, and fans have been collecting stickers for over 50 years.
The 1970 World Cup in Mexico launched the first World Cup in Great Britain.
In the early days, a pack of four stickers cost about 5p each, but now, if each pack contains an extra sticker, the price will go back to 90p for collectors.
According to author and football finance expert Kieran Maguire, this year’s album has 670 stickers to collect, assuming all were bought in the first place, priced at £120.60.
However, Mr Maguire explained that depending on the odds, it was more likely to get the fans back £883.80.
“The 2022 Panini World Cup Sticker Album has been released,” he wrote on Twitter.
“Five stickers cost 90p and there are 670 to collect. If you had to collect all the stickers and exchange all the spares it would be £120.60, but if there was no exchange it would cost you £883.80, probabilistically.”
Speaking to Sky News, Mr Maguire, 60, said he started collecting the stickers in 1970 and still does.
“My first collection was in 1970, but I didn’t have a full set because I didn’t have enough pocket money,” he said.
“A sharp rise from 50p to 80p in 2018, and further from 80p to 90p in 2022,” he explained, with a pack of stickers.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like prices will drop anytime soon, with Mr Maguire warning it could hit £1,500 by 2026.
“When the World Cup goes from the current 32 teams to 48 teams in 2026, unless you do a swap, it will cost at least £1,500 to fill an album,” he said.
“Fortunately, there are now many online exchange sites that help keep costs down.”
How much did the last World Cup cost?
according to calculate According to mathematician Professor Paul Harper from Cardiff University, the typical cost of filling a 2018 album is around £774.
That year, the price of a pack of five stickers was increased from 50p to 80p, and the album included more stickers, for a total of 682 stickers in the collection.
If a collector is lucky enough to buy a bag without replicas, Professor Harper explained they would need at least 137 bags to complete the entire book, which costs £109.60.
Panini also released the FIFA 2022 Qatar World Cup Adrenalyn XL Official Card Collection, featuring multiple categories and national teams participating in the play-offs and the competition.