The Best Soccer Investment Cards: 2022

What are the best soccer card investments in 2022?

With the World Cup set to take place in November, it’s an important year for the hobby, especially following the news that the United States has qualified for the tournament. 

(They’re the largest market for collectible cards, ensuring lots of interest around the world.)

Here’s a roundup with some of the best soccer investment cards in 2022, featuring some of the biggest names in the game, retired legends, and some great rookie options. 

The Best Soccer Investment Cards: 2022

We’ve opted for a mix of sets and players when looking at the best soccer cards to buy in 2022. 

10. 2019-20 Panini Chronicles Pitch Kings Bukayo Saka RC #R4-5 (eBay)

2019-20 Panini Chronicles Pitch Kings Bukayo Saka RC #R4-5

We start with Bukayo Saka, who was named Arsenal’s player of the season for the 2020-21 campaign. 

His 2019-20 Panini Chronicles Soccer RC is picking up lots of attention at the moment, specifically the Pitch Kings IV insert featuring a unique understated design. 

He’s had another strong season, and PSA 10 copies look to be a solid investment over the next 12 months. 

Check prices of Panini Chronicles Pitch Kings Bukayo Saka RCs on eBay.

9. 2020-21 Topps Chrome Sapphire UEFA Vinicius Junior RC #89 (eBay)

2020-21 Topps Chrome Sapphire UEFA Vinicius Junior RC #89

2021/22 has been a great season for Vinicius Junior, as the player has come of age for a revamped Real Madrid. 

After all, who needs Eden Hazard when Vinicius is ready to light up the wing? It’s all the more impressive considering the player was coming off the back of a season in which he’d only scored three goals and got three assists in 35 games.

His form has had a clear impact on the values of his best cards, such as the 2020-21 Topps Chrome Sapphire release.

  • Parallels: Aqua #/150, Yellow #/99, Green #/75, Orange #/50, Purple #/25, Red #/5, Padparadscha 1/1

Check prices of Topps Chrome Sapphire UEFA Vinicius Junior RCs on eBay.

8. 1970 Panini Campioni Dello Sport Soccer Pele #93 (eBay)

1970 Panini Campioni Dello Sport Soccer Pele #93

The first Pele collectible to make the list is from the 1970 Panini Campioni Dello Sport sticker set. 

Famously, Brazil won the 1970 World Cup final 4–1, keeping the Jules Rimet Trophy indefinitely, and Pele was named player of the tournament. 

Over half a century old, there aren’t many copies according to the PSA registry, making it one of his rarer vintage options from a special season.

Check prices of 1970 Panini Campioni Dello Sport Pele cards on eBay.

7. 2020-21 Topps Chrome Sapphire UEFA Pedri RC #61 (eBay)

2020-21 Topps Chrome Sapphire UEFA Pedri RC #61

With the hopes of Barcelona and Spain resting on his shoulders, Pedri has exceeded all expectations this season. He’s clearly rated highly by manager Xavi Hernandez;

“He’s the best in the world in his position,” the coach had previously said. “There’s nobody else like him.” 

The same importance is shared for coach Luis Enrique at international level too. It’s no wonder that his 2020 Topps Sapphire RCs are popular. 

(An exclusive blue version of the base 2020-21 Topps Chrome UEFA Champions League set, 2020-21 Topps Chrome Sapphire Edition UEFA Champions League offers an assortment of base cards, parallels and a few image variations.)

  • Parallels: Aqua #/150, Yellow #/99, Green #/75, Orange #/50, Purple #/25, Red #/5, Padparadscha 1/1

Check prices of 2020-21 Topps Chrome Sapphire UEFA Pedri RCs on eBay.

6. 2018/19 Donruss Optic Rated Rookie Phil Foden #179 (eBay)

2018/19 Donruss Optic Rated Rookie Phil Foden #179

Next is Phil Foden’s 2018-19 Donruss RC. The midfielder could yet become one of the best in the world, and will be key to England performing well in the World Cup this winter. 

Rather than the base Rated Rookie subset, we’re looking at the Optic version, which can be identified via the small black logo on the bottom right corner. 

Foden is included in a strong rookie class along with the likes of Jadon Sancho and Kai Havertz

If you’re on the market for a more affordable graded Foden card, the Press Proof Rated Rookie parallel is a great choice. 

  • Parallels: Holo, Green Velocity #/200, Aqua #/149, Purple Velocity #/125, Orange #/99, Red Velocity #/50, Black Velocity #/25, Gold #/10, Green #/5, Gold Vinyl 1/1

Check prices of 2018/19 Donruss Optic Rated Rookie Phil Foden cards on eBay.

5. 2020 Panini Obsidian Black Color Blast Erling Haaland #3 (eBay)

2020 Panini Obsidian Black Color Blast Erling Haaland #3

Erling Haaland is the biggest star in world football, bar none. The striker is tearing up the Bundesliga with Dortmund, causing everyone from Chelsea to Real Madrid to take notice. 

He’s still only 21, which is why his first ever Color Blast card is worthy of a spot on this list.

Despite a few injury issues, he’s one of the best soccer cards to buy right now, and has the potential to break numerous records over the next 15 years. 

Haaland cards have to be seen as a no-brainer investment. 

Check prices of 2020 Panini Obsidian Black Color Blast Erling Haaland cards on eBay.

4. 2002-03 Panini Mega Craques Cristiano Ronaldo RC #137 (eBay)

2002-03 Panini Mega Craques Cristiano Ronaldo RC #137

Cristiano Ronaldo’s first ever card comes from his time spent at Sporting Clube de Portugal. 

The 2002-03 Panini Mega Craques features a large, full-bleed action shot of the player with the ball at his feet, which is fair considering he was best known for world class dribbling and fluid skills during his formative years. 

It’s seen as Ronaldo’s ‘true’ rookie card, and that is reflected by the high asking prices for ungraded copies, as well as PSA 10s. 

If you can only have one Ronaldo card and money is no object, this could be a great choice; especially as 2022 is likely to be his last ever World Cup tournament. 

Check prices of 2002-03 Panini Mega Craques Cristiano Ronaldo RCs on eBay.

3. 2016 Panini Foot Soccer Corentin Jean/Kylian Mbappe RC #504/#505 (eBay)

2016 Panini Foot Soccer Corentin Jean/Kylian Mbappe RC #504/#505

Kylian Mbappe is arguably the most potent striker in world football today, with lightning pace that allowed the PSG forward to notch 24 league goals for the calendar year in 2021. 

The 2016 Panini Foot sticker set is one of the earliest to feature the striker, back when he had a double-barrelled surname and played for the Principality of Monaco. 

Untorn stickers also feature Corentin Jean, who now plays as a striker for Ligue 1 club RC Lens. 

They’re hard to come by, and even tougher to locate in pristine condition. There are just 190 PSA 10 copies according to the registry

Check prices of Panini Foot Soccer Corentin Jean/Kylian Mbappe RCs on eBay.

2. 2004 Panini Sports Mega Cracks Lionel Messi RC #71 (eBay)

2004 Panini Sports Mega Cracks Lionel Messi RC #71

The 2004 Panini Sports Mega Cracks Lionel Messi RC is iconic, and could have easily taken the top spot on this list. 

A full-bleed action shot sees the player with the ball seemingly glued to his foot. (He was still turning out for Barca B at the time, which is why he’s wrapped in a vintage kit.)

Then there’s the sheer value, as it’s the most expensive Messi card by some distance when looking at graded versions. 

It’s my personal pick of the Messi RCs, and it’s also favoured by many collectors and investors. 

Check prices of 2004 Panini Sports Mega Cracks Lionel Messi RCs on eBay.

1. 1958 Alifabolaget #635 Pele RC (eBay)

1958 Alifabolaget #635 Pele RC

A legendary Swedish-issue release, the 1958 Alifabologet #635 Pele RC has to be seen as the holy grail for soccer card collectors. 

The star is shown on the field in his Brazil kit at the 1958 World Cup in Stockholm, Sweden. 

Of course, Brazil won the tournament, led by a 17-year-old Pele who simultaneously became the youngest player to participate in, score, and win a World Cup final.

The Brazilian maestro is widely seen as the best player ever, and the attention paid to his most important cards shows no signs of letting up.

This culminated in the $1.3M sale of his RC in February 2022, which is the first time a soccer card has breached the $1M barrier. 

Shop for Pele RCs on eBay.

Soccer Investment Cards: Buyers Guide 

We’ve put together a brief guide discussing the current state of the market for soccer cards in the run up to the 2022 World Cup.

The Best Cheap Soccer Investment Cards

There are cards to suit a range of budgets above, but base parallels of the newer RCs are likely to be the most affordable options overall. The likes of Foden and Pedri are worth checking out.

The Best Soccer Investment Card: 2022

The Pele rookie card is probably the best investment piece overall, but the price is a stumbling point for most would-be buyers. The likes of Ronaldo and Messi are another viable option, while Mbappe and Haaland are a duo of exciting youngsters. 

Soccer Investment Cards: Buying/Selling Advice

That concludes our list of the best soccer investment cards for 2022, highlighting some of the biggest names in the sport along with their greatest collectibles. 

Depending on the 2022 World Cup, prices could fluctuate, it’ll depend on team performances, as well as individual brilliance. 

For more info, check out our guide for the best time to buy soccer cards, or let us know which player you’re planning to invest in this year! 

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