The World Cup sticker album: a tradition that's as culturally significant as the tournament itself.

Well, maybe not.

However, it’s been almost 50 years since the first official World Cup sticker album and - unlike our collecting nation - this tradition can't be knocked out.

Shot of football signifying the World Cup sticker album

Year after year, collectors young and old, buy and trade the stickers. From swapping with friends in the playground to exchanging stickers on social media, the quest for that "shiny" is a rigorous tournament in itself.

However, the price for every adhesive mugshot can be costly.

World Cup sticker album stats, scores and financial penalties

Last year a World Cup sticker album from 1970, with the complete 288 stickers, was auctioned at an incredible £5,050. But even without the collectors’ items - this is a pricey hobby.

With the cost of a pack of five stickers increasing from 50p to 80p, the average cost of filling the album with all 682 stickers (including 32 squads, managers and stadiums) is an eye-watering £773.60.

That equates to a staggering 4,832 stickers - or 967 packets.

That's a lifetime of pocket money.

The post-match statistical analysis

So, what are the other statistics associated with this costly craze?

The lowest cost possible, if you had the improbable luck of getting all 682 stickers from 137 packs (with no duplicates) is £109.60.

That's a steal.

But, what are the chances?

In terms of the odds, the first sticker you buy is guaranteed to not be a duplicate. The second has a 681/682 (99.85%) chance of being a new sticker. The third has a 680/682 (99.7%) chance and so on.

Got, got, need

The key to making this cheaper is to buy and swap in groups. Two people can reduce the number of packs required by 30%, five players by 57% and 10 players by 68%.

Even taking that into consideration - and without a footballer’s salary - it will still put a dent in your bank account.

So, is it really worth it? The fans still think so.

World cup sticker album football fans

Plus an England "shiny" might be the closest we get to a real trophy - right?

5 strikes that took Panini to sticker stardom

Created in Modena, Italy, brothers Benito and Giuseppe Panini have been making big business out of football stickers since 1961. Previously running a newspaper distribution company, they sold packets of plants and flower stickers that a company in Milan couldn’t sell. Amazingly, the company sold three million packets and Panini was born.

Here’s how they got to sticker stardom with 5 devastating super-strikes:

#1. In 1961, their first set of football stickers sold a staggering 15 million units. A year later the duo shifted 29 million packets.

#2. Panini distributes its albums to 125 countries around the world, making 1 billion stickers a year.

#3. It is estimated that they make an incredible £655 million annually.

#4. The 90s saw Panini lose out to competitors Merlin for the Premiership sticker album rights. However, Panini became the popular choice again in the noughties.

#5. Finally, they went digital. The Italian company kept up with the times and now have a digital sticker album and app.

Looking for some non-sticker related analysis? Interested in our capabilities and want to find out more?

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