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The Very Best Soccer Card Products To Invest In  

The soccer card market is currently in flux. During the Covid-19 bubble, the price of soccer cards went up exponentially, and it almost looked like you couldn’t make a bad investment in that space if you tried.

But oh, how times have changed. The prices and desirability of cards have gone down in general. But nowhere more than in soccer cards.

It makes sense; after all, there aren’t as many fans of the sport in the United States. Therefore, the demand would always be lower, and the sense that these cards could only go up was always misleading.

Nonetheless, there is still a good deal of money to be made on soccer cards. And the good news is it will now be more sustainable, at least if you do it right.

But where should you turn? No worries, we got you covered with our overview of the top soccer products to invest in.

Top products from other sports:

How to approach the best soccer products to invest in  

You can look at a product as a source of investment in two distinct but related ways. You may want to buy single cards with high value. Traditionally, there are rookie or low-numbered parallels and autos of star veterans. Or, if you prefer, you can buy wax boxes instead.

There is a correlation between the two, of course. Generally speaking, cards with good singles also tend to go for higher wax products. After all, the boxes are judged based on what is in them. But somehow, the market isn’t always that straightforward.

Sometimes the singles for a weak box do surprisingly well, and vice versa. There is a certain amount of disconnect, which always strikes me when I write these guides.

Generally speaking, the price of wax is more reliant on the product’s reputation, and the value of a single bares more related to the player. But the class of rookies can also seriously influence the overall value of a box.

Meanwhile, the product’s credibility can determine which rookies or autos carry more weight. We will do our best to unpack these complex dynamics in these rankings.

Investing in wax for the top soccer products

We have discussed how singles and boxes generate their values. Now it’s worth examining how they differ as investments. Wax is a pretty safe investment, not too different from bonds or blue-chip stocks if you are a trader.

Why? Take a look at just about any two or three-year-old box. They will sell at a significantly higher price than they did when released.

That is such a tried and true rule in the hobby that if you see a product that doesn’t consider it a serious red flag on its viability as a wax investment.

The Covid-19 caveat

There is a caveat here, however. Boxes from the pre-COVID bubble era tended to grow far more in value (and continue to do so). The reason is that far more people are stashing trading cards in their closets today than in 2019. More people are aware of the profit potential.

Therefore, we shouldn’t expect more recent products to reach the levels of profit you got on those older boxes. However, because soccer cards have been on the American market for a shorter amount of time, the differences are not as dramatic as they are for basketball, for example.

Still, look at the comparisons from the last two or three years of products to get an idea of what they are going for. The price for 2017 will not be particularly relevant to what you can expect.

The main difference between the years, aside from the raw age of the release, is the level of the rookie class. When you have a killer rookie available in a series, like Lionel Messi or Erling Haaland, the boxes will be worth a good deal more.

But the good news is, even when the rookie class is just kind of blah, the boxes will steadily accrue value anyway.

Every now and then, they fall below the purchase price. But as I said, a string investment product should never do that. When measuring a product’s overall value, we will consider the typical and outstanding years.

Investing in rookies and single cards

It sounds pretty straightforward to invest in rookies. You pick a player with incredible potential and invest in their rookie card from the most beloved and respected release. Sure, that will work pretty often. But it is more common than expected for a different card to take off, leaving the obvious choice in the dust.

Therefore, predicting which card will bring in the big bucks can be difficult. But there are some rules which, if followed carefully, will give you an advantage over all the other suckers out there:

The prominence of soccer products  

The more prominent and more prestigious brands and marquee releases are, all things being equal, going to win out in the end. So, you usually go with a Prizm for football or a Bowman for baseball. There is no clear front-runner like that for soccer, making it more complicated.

But for recent cards, it will always be a Panini or Topps. The list below will help us determine which brands are the most likely to take off for your rookie.

The visuals

We said the more significant release would win if all things were equal. But they aren’t. If one brand is somewhat more valuable than another in general, that won’t make up for one of the rookies being far more attractive.

And it is the same story with parallels and autos. A distinct eye appeal will beat general brand prestige (assuming it’s licensed and a decent release).

Why? Collectors want to get items they enjoy looking at. As we all know, the most extensive releases often drop the ball on design and picture selection.

That will matter in value, especially in the long term. So, look at the cards before you invest and try to see which has that “iconic” feel.

Population numbers

 No matter how attractive the card is, big the brand is, or incredible the prospect is; an overprinted card will not break any records for value. That is why base cards just ain’t what they used to be.

So, before you invest heavily in a card, try to figure out the print run. The lower it is, the better.

One way to ensure that numbers are low is by shelling out on low-numbered cards like parallels, especially autos of that variety. If your rookie makes the grade, these will gain a lot of value.

How to rank the top soccer products

There is no shortage of soccer card products on the market. That can make the choice seem daunting. But luckily, there are a lot of different leagues and events. Therefore, a single player usually has fewer cards than in other sports.

Yeah, you can play in the English Premier League, UEFA Champions League, and the World Cup. But not in the English Premier League and Spanish La Liga. At least not at the same time. So, that helps.

Nonetheless, between cards covering domestic leagues, European contests, and international ones, there can be a dizzying choice of cards.

Panini also tends to release general soccer releases like Obsidian and Flawless. Therefore, a guide like this one is badly needed. As always, Cardlines has your back.

The tradition of the top soccer products

The legacy of a specific release can go a long way toward determining the eventual value of a card or box. American soccer cards do not have a particularly long tradition.

That makes it a bit harder to decide which products will stand the test of time. In addition, the competition between Fanatics and Panini makes it unclear which releases will still be here in a decade.

Fanatics have more money and are buying up the rights to events in soccer and elsewhere. But Panini International has deep roots in the game and may be able to protect its assets.

So, the American card market is fast-moving and unpredictable. Tradition will eventually play a bigger role there, but things must settle down first.

There is more tradition in soccer cards, especially stickers, outside the United States. And, of course, we would be amiss to create a guide for soccer releases without including foreign staples like the Panini World Cup stickers releases and the respect Spanish Megacracks cards. Therefore, tradition can play a significant role in the soccer card space.

Overprinting of soccer products

There was a time when we just bought whatever cards we liked and didn’t worry about the print run. But the traumatic results of the junk wax era have changed that forever.

Today the hobby has lost its naivete. We all like to keep tabs on how much a product is being printed and how many copies of a card are out there. Because we know if there are too many, a card that is selling for thousands today can be worth next to nothing tomorrow.

When a card brand is overprinted nowadays, you can expect a bunch of skilled detectives to post YouTube videos about it. You will see Twitter, Reddit, and the Blowup Forums all over it.

You just can’t hide this stuff anymore. That means you will lose money if you invest in over-printed cards. But of course, numbered cards are generally immune to this effect because we know how many are printed.

ROI of top soccer products

The factor we take into account most in these rankings is the return on investment (ROI). That is the raw bottom line: how much bang you get in the long run for the money you put into the product.

Of course, that is seriously influenced by the other two factors.

A card or box from a more storied and respected release will tend to garner a better ROI than a flash-in-the-pan product.

And over-printed products will generally have a lower return on investment than their common population counts equivalents. Therefore, the ROI is really dependent on other factors but represents the crucial bottom line.

These are the factors we will take into account when determining the list of the top soccer products to invest in. 

Ranking the top soccer products 

Without further ado, here is the list of the top products for soccer investment. All the factors above have been taken into account, combining wax and singles into one ROI metric.

Panini Prizm World Cup Soccer

On paper, Panini Prizm World Cup Soccer should be the best product for the sport. You take the most prominent sports competition known to man (sorry, Summer Olympics), and add the most recognizable card line ever, and voila: instant classic! But does it really turn out that way?

The cards are fantastic looking. The checklists are problematic, but that isn’t a huge issue. Either way, we are here for one thing and one thing only. To ask, is Panini Prizm World Cup Soccer worth it?

The Panini Prizm World Cup Soccer product is different than most. Card products are usually released annually. But this guy comes out once every four years, like the event that it commemorates.

That means making comparisons is a bit trickier. But since this series has been around for a while, it’s doable. The results make clear that these boxes are a good investment.

You can get a 2022 Panini Prizm FIFA World Cup Soccer Hobby Box for $525. A box from the 2018 competition goes for $3,500. That is a sevenfold increase. The usual caveats apply, of course. More people are holding on to these boxes in 2023 than were in 2018.

Therefore, we can’t expect a repetition of this rate of ROI on the 2022 World Cup release.

panini prizm world cup2

The ROI Of Panini Prizm World Cup Soccer

But can we expect a great return anyway? Absolutely. While fans usually can’t recall what happened precisely 4 seasons ago, no serious soccer fan forgets a World Cup.

These tournaments are etched in our minds forever. And the 2022 World Cup in Qatar was a doozy.

One of the greatest ever played, and will be remembered forever for Messi’s performance and crowning achievement. So, you can quickly expect the box to rise significantly: maybe three or four times the value instead of seven.

And we can guarantee that the 2026 World Cup and every event after will be memorable. That is what makes this tournament so magical.

With boxes increasing in value to that extent, it’s hard to imagine that ripping these boxes is ever a good idea. But it’s worth looking at the numbers anyway.

No doubt, most boxes of Panini Prizm World Cup Soccer will not repay the initial investment. But unlike the vast majority of soccer boxes, these packages include cards that can be worth over $10,000.

Obviously, these are your super-scarce Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Kylian Mbappe, not run-of-the-mill cards. But the truth is, it’s pretty rare to see any soccer card got for those prices.

You can get some legit hardcore hits in a Panini Prizm World Cup Soccer box. This product does indeed live up to its exceedingly high potential.

Panini Donruss Soccer

Donruss is generally marketed as a reasonably priced product. But the soccer format was quite expensive during the soccer boom, reflecting a soccer-specific bubble. However, collectors loved the product and still do.

The presence of the “Rated Rookies” logo is always a great bonus, and people love the print press versions and Marvel inserts. But aside from the love we all have for these cards, how do they perform in terms of value?

You can get a 2022/23 Panini Donruss Soccer hobby box for $319. That is way down from over $400 at the bubble’s peak. But if you wanted to get a 2018-19 Panini Donruss Soccer hobby box, you would be out $1,349 for the pleasure.

Shop for boxes of Panini Donruss Soccer on eBay

That is an absolutely incredible return on investment for wax. Now granted, your new Donruss box is unlikely ever worth that much. But it is a testament to the strength of this product as a wax investment.

With that much potential value in wax, the singles would take some serious juice to make Panini Donruss Soccer worth ripping. Looking at the numbers, the singles may not entirely justify ripping a box. However, they are pretty strong by soccer standards.

The press proof “Rated Rookies,” in particular, sells strongly, sometimes for well over $5,000. There is also Kaboom! cards in Panini Donruss Soccer. They don’t do as well as their basketball and football equivalents but are still very strong cards.

The bottom line is that Panini Donruss Soccer is a very strong product worth ripping or stashing.

Panini National Treasures Soccer

National Treasures is a beloved Panini release known for its beautiful high-end patches, elegant white-centric designs, and clean on-card signatures. Perhaps the proudest accomplishment Panini has had in recent years is the increased value and publicity surrounding its high-end products.

For example, the profile of the Panini Flawless Basketball rose a good deal with the mania surrounding the LeBron James triple logoman card.

Celebrities searched for that card, and it appeared on a Netflix show. That brand is totally popping. But, of course, the attempt to launch Panini Flawless Soccer failed.

It came out in 2016 and has never been heard of since. But Panini National Treasures Soccer still walks among us.

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national treasurers soccer

The ROI of Panini National Treasures Soccer

As we all know, the soccer version isn’t as valuable and well-known. The cards look the same, but you can’t expect the same upside. On the other hand, boxes cost less as well.

So, is Panini Flawless Soccer worth ripping or holding? We did the hard work for you. A 2022 Panini National Treasures Road to FIFA World Cup, Soccer Hobby Box, sells for a cool $1,850.

A lot of money for a box of cardboard, but roughly half as much as the basketball version costs. The price of older wax seems to justify the extravagant expenditure. A 2018 Panini National Treasures Soccer Hobby Box sells for $7,000.

Even a box that emerged during the COVID-19 bubble is worth a bucket of money. If you want your very own 2020 Panini National Treasures Football Hobby Box, it will set you back $8,750.

The outlay is more than worth it. You can increase your investment exponentially. While cheaper boxes do that too, the exponential multiples of a $1,850 are far higher than those of a $300 box.

Yup, we do serious math here at Cardlines. So, if you can afford to get one of these boxes, sit on it for a few years. Do it. Your kids’ college fund will thank you.

When to Rip Panini National Treasures Soccer

With a wax investment this strong, it’s hard to imagine that ripping is worthwhile. But ultimately, what is a box for if we do not open it? What is the sound of one hand clapping? You can see some Panini National Treasures Soccer cards with very high prices on eBay. But there are few remarkably high sales on the e-commerce platform.

As you might expect, they are primarily low-numbered Lionel Messi patches and the like. The highest confirmed recent sale I could find was a 2018 Panini National Treasures Diego Maradona Legendary Auto Black Box 1/1 for $8,307.

Great card and a nice price. But remember, that is more or less what a box from that period costs. So, it’s almost impossible to cover the value of older Panini National Treasures Soccer boxes with individual cards.

That tells you everything you need to know about ripping this product. Ok, maybe not everything. An alarming fact about this release is that none of the RPA’s are worth more than $1,000. The really valuable cards are all veterans or retired legends.

Panini National Treasures Soccer is the ultimate hold for all these reasons but does not rip product. But it’s about as good a hold as you can imagine.

Topps Chrome UEFA Champions League Soccer 

Topps offers several Champions League releases, but the Topps Chrome UEFA Champions League Soccer product is easily the most prestigious and popular.

It builds on the decades-long familiarity of American collectors with the Topps Chrome brand, starting with the unforgettable basketball releases of the 1990s through to the annual baseball releases, which are among the highlights of the release calendar.

So, the designs and general principles are familiar. But how well does it translate to soccer profitability?

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The ROI of Topps Chrome UEFA Champions League Soccer 

Let’s start with the performance of wax. You can’t preorder a box of 2022-23 Topps Chrome UEFA Champions League Soccer yet. That kind of sucks because the competition just ended. So, we need to compare it to last year’s release.

A 2021-22 Topps Chrome Champions League Soccer Hobby Box currently sells for $130. Not a very strong price. But that’s good because the 2020/21 Topps UEFA Champions League Chrome Soccer Hobby Box sold for $250 a mere year earlier. It gets better, though.

A 2019-20 box now sells for a very strong $900. And sure, that is a pre-COVID bubble price and doesn’t reflect what you can expect to recoup on the 2020/21 box in a couple of years (probably).

But it still demonstrates the strength of the product as a wax investment. You can reasonably expect a box to be worth three times what you buy it for after a few years.

Not every box offers that kind of certainty and ROI. So, yes. Stashing away Topps Chrome UEFA Champions League Soccer boxes is the move.

What about the single cards? They fare surprisingly badly. I was hard-pressed to find many confirmed sales for over $1,000 that did not feature Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. In other words, it is rare for any of the rookie cards to be worth more than a few hundred dollars.

Part of that is the simple fact that not many UCL rookies from recent years have turned into massive stars yet. But it’s also an indication of weakness for the product. So this is one you will want to stash and not rip.

Panini La Liga Megacracks

American hobby enthusiasts aren’t usually particularly interested in foreign releases. We are delighted with our overpriced Topps Chrome and Panini Prizm; thank you very much. However, we make an exception regarding Panini La Liga Megacracks.

Also, let’s take a minute to appreciate how awesome a name Megacracks is for us English speakers. The Panini La Liga release, intended for the Spanish consumer, produced the most critical rookie card in the history of soccer collecting: the 2004-05 Panini Megacracks Lionel Messi #71. A card we can only speak of in hushed tones.

So, lower your voice. Since then, this release has had other highly valuable and beloved rookie cards. Therefore, I would have been amiss to disregard this product. But is it a consistently rewarding investment or the occasional source for a great card? Only one way to find out.

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The ROI of Panini La Liga Megacracks

First, you must know that hobby boxes are American, just like TV dinners, Senate filibusters, and beer pong. Therefore, foreign releases like Panini Megacracks don’t have them.

Instead, you can get sealed retail boxes containing 24 packs of 6 cards. I don’t make the rules. If you want to get a spanking new 2022-23 Panini La Liga Megacracks box, it will cost you only $48.50. Yes, I just purchased a couple. And you should too.

A 2019-20 Panini La Liga Megacracks box currently sells for $883.49. The new boxes may age almost as well. There just aren’t that many people stashing Megacracks boxes. Indeed, they can be pretty hard to find.

What about Megacracks singles? Obviously, the Messi rookie is worth a metric ton of hundred-dollar bills. But what about the other cards in there? More recent ones?

A good example of a more recent but excellent rookie is the 2021 Panini Megacracks Gavi #67BIS. A PSA of that card went for $425.

There are some others around that price range as well. But honestly, the ceiling for Panini La Liga Megacracks cards is pretty darn low in the post-Messi era.

There is another problem. If and when the Spanish league produces another player of the caliber of Messi or Ronaldo, collectors will probably prefer their American rookie cards.

Therefore, I see little upside to ripping Megacracks boxes. I mean, financially, they are an entertaining product to open if you are a Spanish soccer fan. But Megacracks is a beautiful product to stash.

Topps Finest Soccer UEFA Champions League Soccer

What is UEFA Champions League Soccer finest about? It has its own flavor with distinctive designs that are somewhat metallic and parallel and auto-heavy.

It also uses the same chrome stock cards you might find in the Merlin release of the baseball and soccer Chrome products. If I wanted to be unkind, I might call it a Topps rip-off of Prizm. But of course, I am a very kind person, so ignore that last sentence.

Either way, we aren’t here to criticize design choices. Our chosen mission here is to examine investment potential. So, how does it hold up in that regard? The most recent box of this product is the 2021-22 Topps Finest UEFA Champions League Soccer Hobby Box. You can pick up one of these snazzy items for about $170.

Not too bad for a Chrome product, with what most reviews call “bold designs.” But how do these products age? A 2018-19 Topps Finest UEFA Champions League Soccer Hobby Box can be currently ordered for $675.

As we have seen, the strong boxes gain more than those pre-pandemic boxes. However, if there is a strong rookie in the crop, these boxes do have some strong earning potential. The 2019-20 release included the Erling Haaland rookie card.

Therefore, you must shell out about $1,500 for the 2019-20 Topps Finest UEFA Champions League Soccer Hobby Box. This shows us one of the issues with the current soccer card market in general.

Aside from Haaland, there haven’t been any rookies with enough of a rep in the last five years to raise boxes. But Finest clearly has potential if the rookie in question is strong enough.

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Investing in singles of Topps Finest Soccer UEFA Champions League Soccer

What about the singles for this release? Since we see that the Haaland rookie raised the price of the box exponentially, that is an excellent place to start. One of his auto cards went for a cool $10,000. But that is a severe outlier.

We see many more of this product’s best Haaland rookie cards for around the $2,000 mark. The only other players who command prices in that range are Lionel Messi and Jude Bellingham.

But while Jude’s cards go for good prices, his cache is not yet high enough to truly lift box prices the way Halland does. Finest is a decent singles investment in the final analysis and can be a good wax investment if the right rookie comes along.

Topps UEFA Stadium Club Chrome Soccer

The soccer version of Topps Stadium Club has had an exciting history. Topps first used this action shot-heavy release for its Major League Soccer releases (MLS). But when that didn’t really take off, they took those cards off the market after a final box in 2018.

Then in 2020-21, the company released its first Topps UEFA Stadium Club Chrome Soccer. Unlike many other card brands, Stadium Club has a very mandate for existence.

High-quality action shots that take up the entire card (usually with no discernible borders). For my money (literally and figurately), it’s great when you have clear expectations from a product.

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The ROI of Topps UEFA Stadium Club Chrome Soccer

But baseball fans know Topps Stadium Club Baseball isn’t where you go for value. Generally speaking, soccer cards sell for less than their baseball equivalents, so that does not bode well. There is another problem to take into account.

There have only been two releases of this relatively new line. So, we cannot do much in terms of comparison shopping. But let’s look at the value of the relevant boxes nonetheless.

A 2020-21 Topps Chrome Stadium Club UEFA Soccer Hobby Box ships for around $300. That is a nice increase in value, considering that the most recent one, a 2021/22 Topps Stadium Club Chrome UEFA Champions League Soccer Hobby Box, sells for $175.

All we can say is there are hints that these boxes will accrue value nicely. But the brand does have its limitations, and I doubt it will go sky-high.

What about the singles market? Individual cards in soccer do not do particularly well, especially in recent months. But the Topps UEFA Stadium Club Chrome Soccer suffers from singularly low performance levels.

There are very few cards with a value of over $1,000 and not too many over $500. The low prices for these cards probably do not bode well for the long-term health of boxes either. Although, as we have seen, the two or often divorced.

Panini Obsidian Soccer

The fun thing about Obsidian is that it doesn’t limit itself to any specific league, tournament, or country. Therefore, they have perfect freedom on who to include in their checklist.

They also have women’s soccer cards in the release, which is a lot of fun. But the real question is if you like the distinctive design concept of these cards.

What is a box of this product worth? Well, you can order a 2022/23 Panini Obsidian Soccer Hobby Box for $400 on presell. That is a fairly hefty price for a soccer box nowadays.

Does its value over time justify the expense? A pre-COVID boom box, like the 2019-20 Panini Obsidian Soccer Hobby Box, goes for $728.

That is not a bad profit in raw dollar amounts, but there are better returns on investment. A 2019-20 box of Topps Chrome UCL from the same year is worth about two hundred dollars more.

Meanwhile, the buy-in price is lower. Therefore, Obsidian soccer is a moderately good investment as a wax investment. You can do better.

Generally speaking, soccer singles do not perform as strongly on the market as we would like. And many of the cards in Obsidian perform poorly as well. However, the Color Blast cards in this release perform relatively well.

The trouble is, of course, that a Color Blast is a case hit, and you are not likely to hit one unless you work for Backyard Breaks. Some of the autos go for over $1,000.

But you can get similar hits from cheaper boxes than Obsidian. Therefore, this product does not give a particularly strong ROI, considering its relatively high price point.

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panini obsidian soccer

Panini Prizm English Premier League Soccer

Panini Prizm English Premier League Soccer has the apparent advantage of being part of the hobby’s premier (pardon the pun) product line.

We are all familiar with the designs, as well as the advantages that come with the beautiful and often valuable Prizm parallels. In addition, the Premier League is far and away the most popular domestic league competition in the world.

Therefore, there is a lot to recommend this product. But does that translate into value?

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The ROI Of Panini Prizm English Premier League Soccer

A 2022/23 Panini Prizm Premier League EPL Soccer Hobby Box goes for $249. Once again, this is a significantly lower sum than a year or two ago, when these boxes were well over $300 a pop each.

But that is more of a reflection of the overall state of the soccer market than a comment on Premier League Prizm. But I will tell you what is a reflection of the value of this product. The price of last year’s hobby box.

You can get a 2021/22 Panini Prizm Premier League EPL Soccer Hobby Box for a mere $128. That is just about half of what a new box costs. A terrible sign of future value.

Meanwhile, a pre-pandemic box, like a box of 2019-20 Panini Prizm Premier League, costs $575. Not that much of a gain from a new one. And, of course, future boxes are unlikely to be worth that much. As we have seen, they may actually lose money.

Is Panini Prizm English Premier League Soccer a rip?

If this product is not a hold, maybe it’s a good rip? Panini Prizm English Premier League Soccer contains Color Blast cards, and they do nicely on the open market, sometimes selling for over $4,000 as PSA 10s.

But of course, these are case hits and not representative of what you are likely to hit. Other cards, even strong auto and 1/1s don’t usually go for more than $1,000.

The obvious conclusion is that this product is overpriced at $350 for a new box and does not justify the investment. I regretfully say this because I love this series and collect it. But the numbers do not lie.

The hobby is aware of the issue, and therefore boxes lose a significant amount of value quickly. Remember, a box of cards is not a new car. It isn’t supposed to lose value as soon as you drive it off the lot.

Panini Chronicles Soccer

There have been several attempts to market the Chronicles brand in soccer. We have seen a Serie A version, a La Liga version, and a general release called Panini Chronicles Soccer, including players from the English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, and Italian Serie A.

Of course, the Chronicles brand has always been a mess, incorporating different releases and far too many rookies for the laws of rhyme and reason.

So, why should its soccer releases be any different? Let’s take a look at the boxes first. A 2019-20 Panini Chronicles Soccer Hobby Box is worth about $700.

That is a pretty good price for a release that is not known for its strong cards. The latest release, a 2022/23 Panini Chronicles Soccer Hobby Box is worth about $300.

So, the box has doubled in value over two years. Definitely better than I expected. But I should note, that last year’s release is worse a little bit less than that.

So, I do have doubts about whether these post-COVID-boom boxes are really much of an investment. But time will tell on that.

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ROI Of Panini Chronicles Soccer

We would always suspect that Chronicles singles won’t be worth all that much. Does Panini Chronicles Soccer do better than expected?

The attraction for Chronicles is, of course, that it includes cards from other better-loved releases. But you can get them for a lower price. Not too many of those are worth a lot though, at least in these soccer boxes.

However, there is an exception. The Panini Chronicles Contenders Tickets can get a good price, if you land the right player. So a few Messi and Maradona tickets have done well.

There are also a couple of decent Prizm soccer cards in these boxes. But they are worth significantly less than their Contenders cousins.

The final verdict? Chronicles isn’t the best investment you will ever make. But it does a lot better than expected. Both the wax and singles have some potential. But in general, Panini Soccer Chronicles remains more of a fun rip than an investment.

Topps MLS Soccer

The American soccer league is not considered to be the finest in the world, as we well know. But it’s our home league, darn it, and we love it. And considering we have freaking Lionel Messi coming to America, the MLS is nothing to sneeze at.

Or at least say “bless you” after you do. Topps had a toxic relationship with the MLS on and off again but started producing the current crop of cards in 2020. The league is healthy and more popular than ever. So, is that reflected in the price of wax and singles? Only one way to find out.

The 2020 Topps MLS Major League Soccer Hobby Box sells for only $150. And I guess that isn’t too bad considering that a 2022 box goes for only $50. But it’s hard to see these boxes going for a lot. Even American soccer fans prefer the European stuff.

However, I have to say that the market for MLS Soccer singles is surprisingly robust. But the best cards for this league tend to come from other releases, like on-demand or older Stadium Club MLS cards. This series really hasn’t taken off as anything with significant value.

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Bottomline of the top soccer products to invest in

A look into all these excellent soccer products reveals a common problem plaguing this part of the hobby. The market for the most promising young rookies is very soft. All the big card sales are for the same 2-3 superstars.

Some retired legends also do well. But the brightest young talents in the game, people like Jude Bellingham, Gavri, Pedri, and even proven young superstars like Erling Haaland, don’t command massive prices regularly.

Considering that soccer boxes are reasonably pricey (though not as costly as they were two years ago), this is a serious problem. It almost doesn’t matter what product you rip.

Either you pulled a Messi, or you screwed the pooch. And don’t even think about products like Panini Prizm Premier League that don’t contain Messi cards.

Therefore, your enthusiasm for investing in soccer cards may depend on your belief in the future of soccer cards. Is the current lull in value permanent?

Or will a larger audience for cards build up gradually over time? I can imagine either scenario coming to fruition. But my guess is the market will grow. More Americans are watching soccer and talking about it than ever before.

Meanwhile, East Asia has an evolving market where cards for Japanese and South Korean stars are very popular. But they also have a weakness for Messi and Ronaldo, like any other soccer fan.

But even in the current market, some brands look like worthy investments. In particular, the Prizm World Cup card release, which we all love, is a solid investment.

You can get wax for a relatively reasonable amount when they come out, and it looks like they will grow exponentially. Meanwhile, Donruss and National Treasures also offer some excellent avenues for investment and profit.

Top products to invest in from other sports

Not a soccer fan? Check out these posts on the best products to invest in from various sports:

Shaiel Ben-Ephraim

Shaiel Ben-Ephraim

Shaiel Ben-Ephraim is the emeritus editor of Cardlines. He continues to write for several hobby outlets, including this one and Cardbase. He collects primarily vintage baseball and soccer and has a weird obsession with 1971 Topps.

In his spare time, Shaiel is sobbing into his bourbon when the Mets lose and playing Dungeons and Dragons. In a past life, Dr. Ben-Ephraim was a political science professor, journalist, and diplomat. But cards are more fun.
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