Inflation ups estimated cost of completing World Cup Qatar 2022 sticker album to more than $1,000


The UK cost of gaining all 670 stickers for a 2022 FIFA World Cup album has shot up with fans now needing to spend an estimated £883.80 ($1,026) to complete the collection.

Due to inflation, Panini, the Italian company that first produced a World Cup sticker album for the 1970 tournament in Mexico, has increased the price in the UK to 90 pence for a five-sticker pack for the Qatar 2022 booklet.

The price rise represents a 12.5 percent hike on the 80p five-sticker pack for the Russia 2018 album, and almost double that of the Euro 2016 price of 50p per pack.

In a tweet, author and football finance expert Kieran Maguire calculated the cost of completing the Qatar edition would be a minimum £120.60, assuming all the stickers were acquired in one go, a probability he pointed out would be “possible but highly improbable.”

According to research conducted in 2018 by Paul Harper, a mathematics professor at Cardiff University, in Wales, on average a collector needed to buy 4,832 stickers to finish the album, equivalent to £883.80 at current prices.

Writing on Twitter, Maguire said: “The Panini World Cup 2022 sticker album is out. It’s 90p for five stickers and there are 670 to collect. That works out as £120.60 if you have to collect all and swap all spares, but if no swapping, then based on probability it will cost you £883.80.”



Harper’s study found that the likelihood of finding new stickers the nearer a person came to completing a collection was increasingly smaller.

He said: “What is interesting is that to collect just the last 19 stickers for the book, you would still be required to buy 483 packets of stickers, or half the total number of expected packets.

“Put another way, you are only halfway through when you have just 19 stickers left to collect.”

Most collectors usually resort to swapping stickers with friends or, in recent years, through online swap clubs. These platforms are a much-needed resource for many fans, particularly in view of the 2026 World Cup which will see the number of teams participating in the tournament go up to 48, an increase likely to be reflected in collectors’ pockets.

“When the World Cup increases to 48 teams in 2026 from the current 32, the cost of filling an album will be at least £1,500 unless you resort to swaps. Fortunately, there are many online swap websites around these days that help to reduce costs,” Maguire added.

Panini, which has been creating sticker albums since 1961, recently released limited-edition stickers honoring 20 famous players taking part in the tournament.

On reselling platforms such as eBay, the popular cards, featuring players including Argentina’s Lionel Messi, Neymar Jr. of Brazil, and Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo, can sell for more than $400.

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