Watch: A sneak peek at the Panini World Cup 2022 sticker album
It’s arguable that the latest album from legendary sticker manufacturer Panini will be the most eagerly awaited for any Wales football fan.
The last time Wales were at a football World Cup in 1958, there were no sticker albums, but now news of the new Panini World Cup sticker album has reached social media and the excitement is building.
Images of the new album and sticker boxes have been leaked through Panini fan groups on Facebook, while a new adverts for the South American market gives a brief glimpse inside the pages of the new album.
According to Panini Football Club on Facebook what we know so far is the World Cup album will be released in the UK on August 24.
It will feature 670 images, including 50 specials, in its regular version.
It is not yet known whether there will be editions with additional images like there were in 2018. There will however be a hardcover version
The collection will be available in Brazil from August 19, then on August 24 in the United States and in certain European countries, including the UK. The release will be staggered around the world until mid-September.
The 2022 Panini World Cup album continues a long tradition of collectibles centred around the world’s biggest football tournament.
While the World Cup is normally held during a May to July time frame, the 2022 edition runs from November 21 to December 18.
Appearing for every World Cup since 1970, the sticker set normally produces a frenzy of collecting and trading to complete the album.
As usual, fans will find 2022 Panini World Cup stickers for each of the 32 teams taking part in the tournament. This marks the final World Cup with just 32 teams, as 2026 is slated to increase to 48 teams.
Ironically, despite Wales having qualified for the World Cup for the first time in 64 years, Cymru has actually previously appeared in a Panini World Cup album – Argentina 1978.
Then they were a number of teams featured that didn’t qualify. The stickers featured a Wales shiny badge, as well as Terry Yorath, Joey Jones, John Toshack and Leighton James.
Of course, Wales appearing in a standalone sticker album for Euro 2016 and the resulting tournament album was a landmark moment for fans. However, the global reach of the Panini World Cup 2022 album will propel the nation to hitherto uncharted heights.
According to Greg Lansdowne – Panini sticker expert and the author of Panini Football Stickers: The Official Celebration: A Nostalgic Journey Through the World of Panini and Stuck on You: The Rise & Fall… & Rise of Panini Stickers, Wales have truly arrived on the global stage.
“Welsh football fans will have grown up with Panini football stickers from the late 1970s onwards – the famous collections of which will be the classic ‘Football 78’ to ‘Football 93’ (covering English and Scottish leagues); Euro and World Cup albums,” he said.
“While the Welsh Euro debut in 2016 – and the resultant Wales Panini Euro debut as a qualified nation – was special to many, a first Panini World Cup sticker album appearance, as a qualifier (Wales did appear in 1978 as an ‘Excluded Nation’) is a cut above.
“Now Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey and Dan James will be swapped as World Cup stickers from South America to Africa, North America to Asia and Europe to Australasia.
“Wales have truly hit the Panini big time!”
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