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World Cup Stars: 10 Cards to Store in the eBay Vault

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Jason Koeppel // ONE37pm

The biggest event in soccer is well underway. The 2022 FIFA World Cup features the best athletes in the world duking it out for their respective nations. We’ve seen the excitement for the 2022 World Cup already impact The Hobby, as many collectors are investing in soccer’s premier stars.

It’s evident that the stars are out in Qatar. And while it's still uncertain who will hoist the trophy, there’s no shortage of skill out on the pitch this year.

Now is a great opportunity to pick up some trading cards featuring World Cup superstars to add to your collection, and eBay—the original marketplace for collectibles—has the most unique, rare and hard-to-find inventory out there. With more than two decades of expertise, it’s no doubt that eBay has the cred to deliver a full suite of physical and digital capabilities at scale. From Authenticity Guarantee to Price Guide, Collection, the eBay vault and more, eBay is the ultimate destination for trading card collectors and enthusiasts alike.

The eBay vault—a 24/7 secure facility and digital marketplace for trading card collectors with no sales tax, storage or selling fees—is the premier service in card security. Card collectors, investors and hobbyists are using the eBay vault to securely buy, sell, trade, store and invest in trading cards more seamlessly than ever before. The eBay vault enters the market as enthusiasts are increasingly investing differently and looking at collectible items—like World Cup superstar cards—as alternative assets. Single, graded trading cards and graded, autograph, relic, and patch cards purchased for $250+ on eBay in the US are now eligible for the eBay vault. 

As soccer’s biggest stage continues, it’s only fitting that we showcase some potential international superstar cards to add to your collection in the eBay vault. Keep in mind that while this year's World Cup will soon crown a champion, the 2026 World Cup will be played in North America and will be here before you know it.

With both the present and future of soccer in mind, we aimed to find a wide variety of slabs for all price points. Check 'em out!

1. Lionel Messi 2004 Panini Sports Mega Cracks Barca Campeon Rookie

World Cup Stars 2004 Mega Cracks Lionel Messi
eBay

To start off, it’s only fair we feature one of the greatest players in the history of the sport. A record seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, Messi’s name is synonymous with other legendary athletes like Pelé and Ronaldinho. He’s etched his name in nearly every record book, but is still looking to take home a World Cup title with Argentina, who is set to face the Netherlands in the quarter-finals after a 2-1 win over Australia in the Round 0f 16.

2004-05 Panini Mega Cracks features several variations of Lionel Messi’s rookie card. The Barca Campeon version is certainly not the rarest, but it is a comparatively affordable Messi rookie card. The BGS 9 copy shown above sold recently for $720, and it would look great vaulted and secured with eBay.

Shop Lionel Messi 2004 Panini Sports Mega Cracks

2. Kylian Mbappé 2016-17 Panini Foot Ligue 1 Sticker Rookie

World Cup Stars MBAPPE PANINI FOOT LIGUE STICKER
eBay

Few will contest that Kylian Mbappé is the best player in the world right now. With Karim Benzema injured, the 23-year-old has emerged as France’s best player. This 2016-17 Panini Foot Ligue 1 sticker is Mbappé’s first appearance on cardboard, and it trades around $1,500 in the BGS 9.5 grade. His 2018 Prizm World Cup rookie may be more popular, but we like the rarity of this sticker card.

France has advanced to the quarterfinals after a 3-1 win over Poland in the Round of 16, and are set to face off against England.

Shop Kylian Mbappé 2016-17 Panini Foot Ligue 1 Stickers

3. Harry Kane 2014 Topps EPL Merlin Rookie

World Cup Stars Harry Kane Topps Merlin Premier League EPL
eBay

The English national team will be captained by Harry Kane, one of the best strikers on this list. Kane has already had an impressive career with Tottenham, which includes a 30-goal season in 2017. However, he and newcomer Phil Foden are determined to bring a gold trophy back to England. They advanced to the Round of 16 out of Group B, and took care of Senegal 3-0 with Kane scoring England's second goal of the day. They will now face Kylian Mbappé and France in the quarter-finals.

This 2014 Topps EPL Rookie may be small in size, but it is a consistent $3,500+ card. It’s also only a POP 10, so you’re not likely to see it on an auction site anytime soon

Shop Harry Kane 2014 Topps EPL Merlin

4. Christian Pulisic 2017 Select Kaboom Rookie

World Cup Stars Christian Pulisic Kaboom
eBay

Much like Kylian Mbappé, the young Christian Pulisic has also been instrumental in the growth of the modern soccer card market. His talent and flair have quickly made him one of the United States’ best players. “Captain America” played a huge role in the USMNT making it to the Round of 16. Although they lost to the Netherlands, they are a young team that seems ready to take the next step in 2026 when the World Cup comes to North America!

This Kaboom! case hit is from Pulisic’s rookie year, and can be picked up in a PSA 9 grade for around $900.

Shop Christian Pulisic 2017 Select Kaboom!

5. Luka Modrić 2008 Panini UEFA Euro Sticker Rookie

World Cup Stars Luka Modric 2008 UEFA Sticker
eBay

At 37 years old, Modrić is no stranger to soccer’s biggest stage. He’s made World Cup appearances dating back to 2006, and has been a pivotal player in Croatia's deep run this year. 

The Real Madrid midfielder has other valuable cards in products like Topps Chrome Sapphire and National Treasures. But it’s his 2008 Euro Sticker that’s widely considered to be his true rookie. The card has sold for as high as $2,130 in March of 2022, and it currently stands as a POP 16.

Shop Luka Modrić 2008 Panini UEFA Euro Stickers

6. Vinícius Junior 2018-19 Donruss Optic Holo Rated Rookie

World Cup Stars VINICIUS JUNIOR OPTIC HOLO
eBay

Next, we have one of the best wingers in the game: Vinícius Junior. Unlike other players on this list, Vini Jr. enters the World Cup on a stacked Brazil team. He and his squad is in the midst of a deep run in Qatar, which could result in a spike for his card market. Already, we’ve seen Brazil have strong showings against Serbia and Switzerland in group play, and South Korea in the Round of 16, where Vini Jr scored the first goal of the game.

This Optic Rated Rookie holo from 2018 last sold for $911 as a PSA 10, but lower graded copies can be acquired for a fraction of that price. This card could be a strong alternative investment as Brazil makes its World Cup run.

Shop Vinícius Junior 2018-19 Donruss Optic Holo

7. Kevin De Bruyne 2019-20 Impeccable Premier League Champion Signatures

World Cup Stars Kevin De Bruyne Impeccable Premier League Impeccable
eBay

Kevin De Bruyne made his third World Cup appearance for Belgium, and is the clear centerpiece of their roster. A gifted midfielder, De Bruyne has spent the last seven years with Manchester City. He’s amassed quite the following in the process and has a remarkable accolades list as well.

While many fans were disappointed with the Belgian team’s early exit, failing to get out of Group F after a scoreless tie against Croatia, having a nice autograph of one of the game’s best in your eBay vault can never hurt. This signature from Impeccable can sell for as high as $5,000, but it’s one of few pack-issued autographs that De Bruyne has.

Shop Kevin De Bruyne 2019-20 Impeccable

8. Neymar 2009-10 Abril Gol Rookie

World Cup Stars Neyma Jr Abril Gol Cards
eBay

Here we have another household name. Neymar has been tearing up defenses since his professional debut in 2009, and has been instrumental in Brazil’s success over the last few years. The 30-year-old forward has scored 75 career goals with the Brazilian team, and put one on the board in their Round of 16 game against South Korea. 

Neymar’s 2009 Abril Gol rookie is also his most expensive card to date, with a sale price of $19,200 as a PSA 10. It shows the young star when he played for Santos, long before his Barcelona or PSG days. However, this PSA 6 copy will only set you back around $600.

Shop Neymar 2009-10 Abril Gol

9. Robert Lewandowski 2008 Panini Ekstraklasa Rookie

World Cup Stars Robert Lewandowski Panini Ekstraklasa
eBay

Poland had a solid run in the Group C pairing with a win against Saudi Arabia and a draw with Mexico, advancing to the Round of 16 before falling to France 3-1.

They can attribute much of their recent success to Robert Lewandowski, the 34-year-old veteran ball striker. Lewandowski has two cards in the 2008 Panini Ekstraklasa set: a portrait sticker and an action shot. For today’s purposes, we chose the latter. It trades consistently for $600-$800 as a PSA 9, so it can’t hurt to add one of the best players in the world to your eBay vault.

Shop Robert Lewandowski 2008 Panini Ekstraklasa

10. Pedri 2020 Panini La Liga Mega Cracks Rookie

World Cup Stars Pedri La Liga Mega Cracks
eBay

Pedri is one of the younger stars on this list, but he’s already made waves as a midfielder for Barcelona. He’s been compared to players like Andrés Iniesta—high praise for someone who hasn’t even celebrated their 20th birthday. Spain dominated Group E, and is set to play Morocco in the Round of 16.

The young phenom has collectible rookies in Topps Chrome and Panini Mosaic, but we chose the Panini Megacracks set for its storied history. PSA 10 copies can also be picked up for around $400, so this is a solid addition to the eBay vaulted collection any day of the week.

Shop Pedri 2020 Panini La Liga Mega Cracks

Will you be adding any trading cards from the top stars in this year’s World Cup tournament to your collection in the eBay vault? Let us know @CardTalkPod on Instagram and Twitter, and @ebaycollectibles on Instagram as well!