The return of our Contentious 10 series sees Bryan McManus give us a run down of the best Panini stickers of all time. Do you agree or disagree? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below or tweeting us @90minutecynic.
Since Giuseppe Panini founded the Panini company in 1961 their football sticker collections have been the cause of utter delight as well as sheer frustration for fans of the collectables throughout the world.
We can all reminisce of splurging all our pocket money at the local shop buying countless packets of stickers in the hope that we would get that elusive sticker that would allow us to complete the album before anyone else. The recollections of seeing someone get the packet that contained that obscure West Brom player and celebrating it like they’d just found one of Wonka’s Golden Tickets. The memories of every playtime and lunch break being spent looking through piles of doublers repeating “got it, got it, need it, got it”.
I loved Panini stickers but, and this is one the biggest regrets in my life, I never ever completed an album; I came agonisingly close on many occasions but never quite reached the target. So as the onset of old age creeps ever nearer I’ve taken a dive into the memory banks to bring you the list of my 10 most memorable Panini football stickers.
10. Zico – Brazil
The Mexico 1986 tournament was my first “real” world cup as I had been too young to appreciate the previous 2. Brazil were everyone’s (outside Argentina) favourite team and also the first shout as your team when playing cuppie in the street with your mates, and the one man you wanted to be was Zico. Even though Brazil lost in the quarter finals to France and Zico missed a penalty during the game it was still amazing to get the Zico sticker.
9. Hugo Sanchez – Mexico
The home team hero of the 1986 tournament and the man that spawned so many severe knee and back injuries in primary school boys as they attempted the Sanchez scissor kick on the playground concrete.
8. Alan Sneddon – Hibernian
Even though it was really annoying that the Scottish players got half a sticker each it was even more annoying that I seemed to get Alan Sneddon in every packet I ever bought. He also shared the same name as a boy in my class and had a daft haircut and moustache.
7. Russell Osman – Ipswich Town/Leicester City
Nothing to do with the fact he was one of the outstanding footballers of his generation or that he had won the UEFA Cup. He was in the greatest football film of all time, which was enough for me.
6. Johnny Metgod – Nottingham Forrest
He was bald and his name spawned juvenile playground jokes about him bumping into the messiah.
5. Preben Elkjaer-Larsen – Denmark
Yeah they might have had a nice strip but they had no chance against Scotland, we were so confident we had beach shorts as part of our strip in 1986, then this guy scored. Turns out Denmark were actually quite good.
4. John Clark – Dundee United
He had streaks, a mullet and looked overweight all the time, but he had Scottish football fans celebrating when he scored a bullet header against Barcelona in the Nou Camp to help United on their way to the UEFA Cup Final.
3. Albert Kidd – Dundee
The scorer of the most celebrated goals never scored by a Celtic player. He may have looked like Bobby Ball but that didn’t stop him going down in Celtic folklore.
2. Celtic 1988 squad photo
Simply one of the greatest teams I’ve ever seen.
1. The World Cup “shiny”
It doesn’t get any better than this; I got one for the album and one for my room door!