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They have something to worry about: the sticker album craze that is driving Argentina crazy Israel today

2022-09-26T10:17:13.500Z

Messi cards are sold for 120,000 pesos on the black market, people stand in line for hours and behave violently when they don't get what they want and the representatives of the kiosks made sure that an emergency meeting was held with the participation of the representatives of the government and the Panini company who came from Italy.



If there's one thing Argentina doesn't lack, it's trouble.

Economic, political, social - and in recent days the troubles even come in the form of stickers.

It started with their shortage, then with demands for help from the government and threats to the companies that produce them, and ended up with violence in queues at kiosks and a black market that trades these stickers for huge sums.

These are just some of the consequences of the connection between the Argentinians and their soccer team, the upcoming World Cup, and the Panini sticker album where you can collect all the stars and win a little world fame.

Panini's sticker album was published in the 1970 World Cup. Since then it has become a collector's item that has expanded to other tournaments and leagues, when a few years ago a sticker album of the 1970 World Cup with Pele's signature was sold for tens of thousands of dollars.

Although sticker albums have been created for many sports, the highlight remains soccer and especially the World Cup.

According to data, before the World Cup in 2010, stickers worth 10 million dollars were sold in the United States alone.

Cristiano Ronaldo was a successful presenter of the album, and every four years - when summer comes and with it the big tournament - the stickers sell like hot cakes.

In Argentina - where there is a whole culture of collecting stickers (figuritas) - they launched the album at perfect timing.

Three months before the opening of the World Cup in Qatar, a few days before Children's Day (21.8) and at the height of the glory of the national team.

The Copa America win and the 33-game unbeaten streak created an unprecedented connection between the people and Leo Messi's team.

Everything related to the team became sacred, as did the Panini stickers.

No albums, no stickers.

A kiosk owner in Argentina with a clear message to shoppers, photo: Getty Images

For the children of the country, Leo Messi's card has become the most sublime thing in the universe.

The parents were sent to the stores to buy as many packages as possible in the hope that the contents would contain Messi and if not him then Paredes, Di Maria or Lo Celso, and the madness reached huge proportions.

Very quickly, the stickers sold out.

The kiosk sellers were furious that the Panini company was prioritizing the supermarkets, the distributors raised the prices and people trampled each other in lines to the stores.

At the same time, secret WhatsApp groups were opened that report a new delivery of stickers, there is a whole market of fakes and stickers are sold on the Internet at exorbitant prices.

A Messi card is sold there for 120,000 pesos, which is equal to 825 dollars.

Juan Vargas, owner of a kiosk in Buenos Aires, told the Spanish "El Pais" "I have never seen such a phenomenon. A few days ago they broke the window of my kiosk just because I said I had no more stickers."

At this point, the government has said enough.

Last week, an emergency meeting was held with the participation of representatives of the Argentine government, Panini sticker company personnel who arrived from Italy, and representatives of the local kiosks.

Everyone is embalmed in suits around one table;

"We want to understand why we receive so few stickers and albums" the kiosk sellers were furious;

"We promise to take care of it and take care of everyone," replied Mpanini.

A boy presents his album, photo: IPA

On behalf of the Argentine Ministry of Commerce, it was stated: "We have opened a dialogue channel between the organization of the kiosks and Panini, and have made our legal and technical teams available for cooperation in the search for possible solutions."

At the moment, less than two months before the opening whistle of the World Cup, the situation is still defined as a state of emergency.

There are a few who completed the album for a lot of money, while the majority still stand frustrated in long lines.

A few days ago the national team coach Lionel Scoloni was asked "What do you say about the fact that in Argentina there are no more stickers and albums because your national team is so popular?"

After listening to the question he answered;

"I didn't know that the stickers ran out, but it's good that you say because my son collects too." 

An Argentinian boy with the Panini album, photo: E.P

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Source: israelhayom

All sports articles on 2022-09-26

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