With an enormous checklist containing 682 stickers, the 2018 World Cup collection is one of the more difficult if you’re aiming to collect them all.
Kylian Mbappe’s rookie sticker is the pick of the bunch, especially as he scored in France’s 4-2 victory over Croatia in the Final, and won the FIFA Young Player award in the process.
Here’s a rundown with everything you need to know about the best 2018 World Cup stickers. We’ll look at the different coloured fronts and backs, and the most valuable options.
The Best 2018 World Cup Stickers
There are two 2018 World Cup Sticker releases, which use the same images on the front.
The black and white back is seen with the base set, while the reverse on the alternative stickers are pink. The numbers are also different for the pink-backed versions compared to the 682 stickers seen with the base release.
(This is because the pink backed set only has 670 stickers in total.)
It was released in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, China, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Turkey, Ukraine, and South Africa.
For example, here are the two Neymar Jr. stickers laid side by side.
As you can see, there’s no real difference in terms of the overall design aside from the colour of the reverse and an alternative number to reflect the set changes.
There’s also a Gold Edition, easy to spot thanks to a coloured borderline on the front of the sticker.
Without further ado, here’s a rundown with five of the best options overall.
5. 2018 Panini World Cup Stickers Neymar Jr #371 (eBay)
Creeping in at number five, Neymar’s Brazil crashed out to a resolute Belgium in the quarter finals of the 2018 World Cup.
Neymar has scored six World Cup goals from 10 appearances between the 2014 and 2018 World Cups. The PSG winger is widely seen as one of the best in the world.
His sticker is an affordable option, even if it has been graded by the likes of PSA.
It’s worth noting that Brazil are also the current favourites for the 2022 World Cup according to betting odds.
4. 2018 Panini World Cup Stickers Legends Pele #680 (eBay)
Sticking with the Brazilian theme, any Pele cards or stickers are always a major hit with collectors.
From a subset focusing on Legends, Pele’s sticker sees the player in a classic image from the 1970 World Cup. It was his third and final tournament win (1958, 1962, 1970).
It’s wrapped in a golden finish which is susceptible to marks, and it’s one of the flashier options overall.
3. 2018 Panini World Cup Stickers Cristiano Ronaldo #130 (eBay)
The irrepressible Cristiano Ronaldo is next up, with a grin on his face as he wears the familiar red of Portugal.
Prices begin to rise for graded versions at this point, especially if you’re looking at the Gold Edition.
Portugal were knocked out of the 2018 World Cup by Uruguay in the Round of 16.
Regardless, we’d strongly advocate for picking up graded CR7 merch, especially before he decides to retire.
2. 2018 Panini World Cup Stickers Lionel Messi #288 (eBay)
Lionel Messi is normally top of most lists, especially if he’s wrapped in the white and blue of Argentina.
In 2018, his side fell to eventual winners France in the Round of 16, in a 4-3 loss. It also ended any chance of a quarter-final showdown between Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Messi also recently became the top international goal scorer in South American history on Thursday, overtaking Brazil’s Pelé. The 34-year-old netted all the goals at Argentina’s 3-0 win against Bolivia in World Cup qualifying, and now has 79 for the national team.
1. 2018 Panini World Cup Stickers Kylian Mbappe RC #209 (eBay)
Kylian Mbappe’s spot on the list was never in doubt.
His rookie sticker from a tournament in which he featured heavily, France were devastatingly effective as he led the line with extreme pace and clinical finishing.
Mbappe’s RCs do come from 2017 and 2018, while this is one of the first to feature him for Les Bleus. (Expect graded versions to be the most expensive on the list by a wide margin.)
It’s not often that a rookie player makes such a massive impact on the biggest tournament in world football, but the PSG star is certainly the real deal.
2018 World Cup Stickers: Buyers Guide
As the last World Cup tournament, 2018 stickers are still fairly affordable despite containing every single high-profile player.
There’s no real difference in terms of value for the different backs, although the Gold versions do come at a premium.
The Pele sticker should be easy to find, and the same goes for most options on the list, barring Mbappe. You can’t go wrong with graded Messi/Ronaldo stickers, and they’re probably the best affordable option.
The Mbappe sticker is a clear step above the others, and a real piece of history due to his breakthrough exploits. It’s also slightly riskier, as the forward still has the vast majority of his career left to play compared to Messi/Ronaldo.
2018 World Cup Stickers: Buying/Selling Advice
A simple entry-level investment, you’re unlikely to get burned if you pick up a few 2018 World Cup stickers to add to your personal collection.
For one thing, they’re fairly cheap aside from Mbappe. It’s helpful if you’re just getting started out within the hobby.
They could also be a viable long term investment, especially if you look at graded options from a decade ago such as the 2010 World Cup sticker set.
We expect prices to rise, especially when 2022 sticker sets are released for the upcoming tournament in Qatar.