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Soccer: History

Soccer is a team sport played between two teams of eleven players (a goalkeeper and ten field players) with a spherical ball. Called "soccer" in North America, it is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries, making it the most popular sport in the world. It is played on a rectangular field, usually grass, with a goal at either end. The goal is to score by getting the ball into the opponent's goal. Join Sorare now and win a free card thanks to the partnership between Sorare and Sorare Academy


The rules of the game were originally codified in England in 1863 by the Soccer Association (FA). Soccer is regulated internationally by the Fédération Internationale de Soccer Association (FIFA), which organizes the World Cup for men and women every four years. Read our article about Sorare NBA.

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The simplicity of the game and the few resources needed to play it make it the number one sport in most countries. Some continents, such as Africa, South America and Europe, are almost completely dominated by this game.

The calendar is dominated by two types of events: those for clubs and those for national teams.
In club competitions, the UEFA Champions League, held in Europe, is the most coveted trophy in the sport. It has equivalents on other continents, such as the CAF Champions League in Africa and the Copa Libertadores in South America. National championships and other cups are also part of the competitive program. Join Sorare now and win a free card thanks to the partnership between Sorare and Sorare Academy

At the international level, the World Cup is the most prestigious event. It has been held every four years since 1930 (except between 1938 and 1950) and pits 32 countries from around the world against each other in 8 groups of 4 teams. Brazil is the nation that has won the most World Cups in history, with 5 titles. The European Championship (Euro) is also a flagship competition that brings together the best European countries. Each continent has its own event, such as the African Cup of Nations (CAN), the Gold Cup in North America or the Copa America in South America.

The history of soccer trading cards:

In June 2021 and with the European Soccer Championship, Panini experienced another peak in the sale of its trading cards in France.
This article looks at the history of the Italian-based company, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary.

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Soccer Cards: History

The idea of two brothers selling newspapers The story of Panini albums begins in a newsstand in Modena, Italy. Olga Panini, a widow, bought it in January 1945, and several of her children helped her in her business. In the late 1950s, two of them, Giuseppe and Benito, cut out pictures of soccer players from unsold magazines and inserted them into newspapers. The kids loved it! The two brothers then bought a large number of cards in Milan to distribute with the newspapers. Join Sorare now and win a free card thanks to the partnership between Sorare and Sorare Academy

From the first album to the packaging machine In 1961, the two brothers released Calciatori ("Footballers," in Italian), a trading card album featuring the players of the Italian Soccer Championship. It was the first Panini album! Glue was included with the booklet to attach the pictures, which were sold in sleeves. The following albums were dedicated to animals and other sports. Still a success. Two other Panini brothers joined the company. One of them developed the Fifimatic, a machine for packaging the vignettes, nicknamed "Fifis" at the time. The four brothers believe that every child should have the opportunity to finish their album. Therefore, they make sure that all vignettes are produced in the same quantity and that their machine guarantees that there are no duplicates in the packaging. "Changes have been made to the Fifimatic, but we still stick to the historical principle," says Isabelle Fillon, marketing and communications manager at Panini's French subsidiary.

Conquering France with soccer In France, the first album appeared for the World Cup in Mexico City in 1970, the year vignettes became stickers. In 1976, Panini focused on the French first division championship. In 50 years, more than 90 Panini albums have been published in France on the theme of soccer. Not to mention albums on other themes! For 2021 alone, about 30 collections are planned. To define the themes, the group surfs on fashion phenomena and major sporting events, without hesitating to invest massively in licenses (read What is it?). "Our core target group is 6-13 year olds, but depending on the collection, such as Harry Potter and Dragon Ball, we reach fans of all ages," explains Isabelle Fillon.

To spread the word about its products, Panini relies on sampling (read What's that?) via partnerships (with magazines, regional newspapers, sports clubs, hypermarkets...), as it did at the start. Sometimes millions of albums are distributed for free! Once the prospects are seduced, they can easily find the Panini products in newspaper stores and supermarkets (see infographic). There, the sticker or card sleeves, as well as the albums, are sold between a few tens of cents and a dozen euros. So creating a collection is accessible to most people. "Especially if you play the game of exchanges," adds Isabelle Fillon. The exchange is part of our concept: our collections exist thanks to the social connection and we work a lot with the phenomenon of the "playground". 
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From Panini cards to Sorare NFT's

 

The postponement of the European Soccer Championship last year was a blow to sales of collectible products in France. However, the subsidiary was able to rely on its edutainment albums and children's books. This is the group's second largest activity (thanks in part to licensed products). "In 2020, publishing was the biggest revenue generator in France. But the next World Cup will boost business and collectible products will come back," the marketing director hopes. Panini has overcome the health crisis thanks to the diversity of its activities. The group is also playing the B to B card. In particular, it proposes to distribute small toys and books at the same time as their own.