You’ve probably heard that the sports card craze is real, but what if I told you that the biggest sport in the world hasn’t even begun to gain traction in this market yet?
That’s right. Proper football is on the rise in the sports card game, which is wild to think about considering the sport is the most played in the world and features some of the most prominent athletes on the planet like Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe.
I remember the first time I picked up a sports card at a regional soccer tournament I was competing at in North Carolina. Michael Essien was one of my all-time favorite Chelsea players, so I begged my dad to get it for me for under five dollars.
Now, the demand for that card may not be huge, but the sentiment remains that if someone else sees the value in something then it’s probably worth it. And that typically means you’ll be able to sell it.
The proper football card game is still so new in a lot of ways, and that’s why we’re picking up over the last five years because that’s where the demand has really begun to increase as more Americans become invested in the beautiful game.
2016 became significant because of the willingness for the big card production companies like Panini to release proper football cards on a wider scale and with more creative product lines.
We’ve seen high-end American football and basketball products like Prizm, Select and Immaculate make their way into the proper football market and create a frenzy for those trying to acquire the biggest stars from the global game.
Let’s begin our deep dive into the evolution of the proper football card market and take a look at some of the hottest products that are dominating the game over the past five years.
Panini products absolutely rock the sports card market every year, and with proper football still being early in its consumption five years ago the rollout of cards was a lot simpler. Donruss really kicked off the craze for proper football, especially because of the close ties to an American prodigy in Christian Pulisic.
The U.S. Men’s National Team star may not have been on many people’s radars outside of the United States back then, but he certainly is now. His Rated Rookie from this product is quickly becoming a hot item for Pulisic and USMNT collectors, but that was the very beginning of the craze for the Pennsylvania-born attacker’s cards.
(Note: Although we are huge fans of sticker products, for the purpose of this article we are not including these items due to the significant rise in proper football cards.)