As Card Collectors and Investors we are always looking for undervalued cards or sets that will eventually be appreciated or valued at a better price than our entry point. See, card collecting and card investing go hand in hand but there are some significant differences. A Card Investor does not collect and does not care about the image on the cardboard. They only care about what the current value is and what they can sell it for to make a profit in the future. A Card Collector cares about completing a set or acquiring their favorite cards as pieces to admire, usually not accounting for market price or profit. A card Investor and Collector are different, but some times our worlds collide. Most of us in the card game wear both hats as collectors and investors. Sometimes we buy our favorite players or cards at market price with no intention to ever sell, and sometimes we find such good deals that we buy and hope to later find someone who wants it at a higher price, indirectly making us card investors. TheSharpMoney is constantly on the look for great cards that are being undervalued by the market… which brings us to our topic today.
World Cup Prizm cards by Panini we’re released for the first time in 2014 for the Brazil World Cup and people jumped on them. Just like the Panini sticker albums back in the day there are special cup cards followed by individual players, full team cards, and special edition cards such as “matchups” and “captains” giving us the full nostalgia from the sticker albums many of us grew up with. (Especially those outside the USA)
Why World Cup Cards? What is the upside?
World Cup sets are extremely hard to collect, why? They are only released every 4 years. Unlike football, basketball and baseball these cards are collected MORE in other countries which only means more people are trying to get their hands on them. The reason we did not see a hype for these cards in the US is due to two big factors I would say. The lack of talent and winning potential the USA team has had in the past AND they missed the 2018 World Cup! These factors could well be why you could be scooping these cards cheap right now. This year on March 28th 2021 the US Men’s U23 lost 2-1 to Honduras in the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifiers making it the third straight Olympic competition they will not participate in. Besides having such a young talent core topped with stars for that age group. The US Men’s national teams sent Pullisic, Dest and Reyna to play a friendly Vs Nothern Ireland, obviously thinking the younger team would be able to qualify without these talents (again reinforcing they like their young squad) however due to a huge goal keeper mistake they lost the match and ultimately their ticket to the biggest stage for that age group. This is nowhere close as big of a deal as a the World Cup qualifying failure however it is important from a player development and ultimately care collecting stand point. Watch the mistake that led to goal that eliminated the US below. The upside? We are 1 year out from the next World Cup in which the USA national team finally has a young team with potential to be competitive. Possibly raising prices on these USA “rookies” for players like Christian Pullisic from Chelsea, Sergio Dest from Barcelona and Gio Reyna from Borussia Dortmund as soon as a year out. However, the real boom I believe will be in 2026 when USA Co-Hosts the World Cup with Canada in Mexico having a bulk of the games in “The Land of the Free” these young and upcoming stars will have more experience and a World Cup at home to be able to go far and actually have a chance to make an impact on the biggest sport stage that exists. If they do I expect a hype pump and for these cards to go up in value… how much? Really depends on as number of factors, however USA’s performance may be number one.
International competitions such as the Olympics are where young players can finally display their talents. As card collectors trying to find gems in the rough is already difficult, but now imagine it without bese competitions? How are we supposed to “scout” the next upcoming players if we can’t even watch them play vs real competition in a real match situation. Watch the mistake that led to the US Olympic team being eliminated above.