Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland are set to take over the mantle from Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, as two of the more potent young forwards in world football. This has led to lots of attention paid to their top rookie cards, as well as inevitable comparisons to each other.
Mbappe already has a World Cup to his name, while Haaland is tearing apart Premier League defences in his first ever season in England with Manchester City.
Here are our thoughts about the best Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland rookie cards. We’ve included top options, and who we’d pick overall.
Haaland vs Mbappe: Rookie Card Showdown
Here’s a rundown with key stats for both players, explaining why they’re so popular with soccer card collectors:
Kylian Mbappe key stats:
RC year: 2016
WC RC year: 2018
Achievements: 2018 World Cup winner, 2017 Golden Boy, Ligue 1 top scorer for four seasons.
Profile: Mbappe is arguably the most valuable player in world football, as the key man amidst a star-studded cast with France and PSG.
Erling Haaland key stats:
RC year: 2019
WC RC year: 2022
Achievements: 2020 Golden Boy, 2021 Bundesliga Player of the Season, the quickest player to score two and three Premier League hat-tricks, and the first in PL history to score three successive hat-tricks in home games.
Profile: Haaland joined Man City in the summer transfer window, and lived up to the hype instantly.
Erling Haaland: Top 3 Rookie Cards:
We’ve listed a trio of the best Haaland and Mbappe rookie cards to look out for below.
3. 2019 Topps Chrome UCL Erling Haaland RC #CA-EH (eBay)
The 2019 Topps Chrome UCL set has the obligatory set of refractor parallels, complementing a great full-bleed design that features an action shot of Haaland during his first ever Bundesliga season. The addition of an autograph is enough to make it comparable in value to almost any other Haaland rookie card on the market.
- Parallels: Blue #/150 (1:300), Green #/99 (1:196), Blue Wave #/75 (1:209), Gold #/50 (1:294), Orange #/25 (1:517), Red #/10 (1:1,195), Red Wave #/10 (1:2,389), SuperFractor 1/1 (1:12,037)
2. 2021 Panini Donruss Kaboom! Erling Haaland #17 (eBay)
There aren’t many high-end Haaland Norway RCs, so this insert definitely stands out from the crowd if you think he’ll continue to bag goals at a rapid rate over the next decade.
It’s reflected in the overall asking price, as many collectors favour World Cup rookie cards above all others. It’s also an SSP from an extremely popular collection.
A PSA 10 copy recently sold for a flat $7,200, we think that’s a great long-term investment and that it could easily reach five figures in the near future.
1. 2019 Topps Now Erling Haaland RC /178 #11 (eBay)
2019-20 Topps Now UEFA Champions League was a weekly release which featured noteworthy performances from the European Cup.
Haaland was included as one of the first cards in the set after hitting a hat-trick for RB Salzburg, while the card has a miniscule print run of just 178. As his true RC, there’s always going to be increased interest if you’re looking at graded copies. As of 2022, it’s one of the most valuable Haaland cards ever produced.
Kylian Mbappe: Top 3 Rookie Cards:
Here’s a quick roundup with a trio of the best Kylian Mbappe RCs.
3. 2018 Panini KABOOM! Kylian Mbappe RC #KM (eBay)
One slight downside is that Mbappe is pictured in the blue of PSG rather than France, but that’s counterbalanced by the popularity of both the Kaboom insert and the player himself.
If Mbappe goes on to be a GOAT contender, this is likely to be one of his best cards overall.
2. 2016 Panini Foot Soccer Corentin Jean/Kylian Mbappe RC #504/#505 (eBay)
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 Major League Soccer club Inter Miami. They’re hard to come by, and even tougher to locate in pristine condition. There are just 201 PSA 10 copies according to the registry at the current time of writing.
1. 2018 Panini Prizm World Cup Soccer Kylian Mbappe RC #80 (eBay)
The 2018 Panini Prizm World Cup RC has to be seen as Mbappe’s best collectible card overall.
He became only the second teenager (after Pelé) to score in a World Cup Final, and he received the FIFA World Cup Best Young Player Award. (Of course, Soccer card collectors are always fond of cards from the biggest tournament in world football.)
Prizm parallels are numerous, while there are also Cyrillic versions highlighting hosts Russia to keep an eye out for.
- Prizm Parallels: Silver, Hyper, Lazer, Mojo, Red Mosaic, Black/Gold Wave, Green/Orange Wave, Red/Blue Wave, Blue #/199, Red #/149, Light Blue Laser #/125, Purple #/99, Orange #/65, Pink Lazer #/40, Green Crystals #/25, Camo #/20, Gold Lazer #/15, Gold #/10, Pink #/8 (NSCC), Gold Power #/5, Blue Shimmer #/5 (FOTL), Black 1/1. VARIATIONS: Cyrillic Text
Haaland vs Mbappe: Rookie Card Buyers Guide
In a straight choice between Haaland and Mbappe RCs, who would we choose?
Over the past few years, collectors have been snapping up Mbappe and Haaland RCs at an unprecedented rate. World Cup parallels tend to be popular with either player. They could be some of the better options from an investment perspective. Kaboom! cards always sell for high amounts despite the lack of a serial number, so you’re spoiled for choice at the upper end.
At this present moment in time, there’s no wrong answer if you’re struggling to decide between collecting Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland rookie cards. Mbappe has the benefit of being a World Cup winner, and could do it all again in 2022, or even 2026. Haaland’s Norway side is always going to struggle in comparison, but he could end up breaking all-time records at this rate.
Think about it this way. Mbappe has already won the biggest trophy in world football, while Haaland has the potential to show true generational greatness. The former is probably a safer bet, but we’d advise to look at both if possible to diversify your collection. If we were forced to pick, we’d stick with the French international, but it’s a tough decision to make.