Where’s Nainggolan? World Cup sticker album costs hit £800 but Belgian proves elusive

June 5 – For millions of football fans all over the world the World Cup is not the World Cup without the official sticker album, particularly in the UK where a World Cup without the player swaps merry-go-round would be like Christmas without a fat man in a red suit coming down the chimney.

In 2022 he could be bringing a sticker album with him as the Qatar World Cup switches from its traditional June/July timing to December. And it will likely be one of the priciest Christmas presents in the football gift market if the cost of completing the 2018 Panini World Cup 2018 Sticker album is anything to go by.

Maths expert Professor Paul Harper estimated it should take 967 packets, or 4,832 stickers, to complete the World Cup 2018 Sticker album, costing a total of £773.60. However, musicMagpie, testing his sums, opened 1,000 packs of Panini World Cup Stickers to see if they could find all 682 stickers needed to complete the book.

Out of 5,000 stickers, worth £800,  they could only find 681 out of the total 682 with only Belgium’s Radja Nainggolan missing (he has in fact not made it into the Belgian team for the World Cup).

While Nainggolan is the rarest player, in second polace in terms of rarity is Tunisia’s Wahbi Khazri, with a 1 in 5,000 chance of appearing in a pack.

In contrast the most commonly found players are Iceland’s Björn Sigurdarson and Korea’s Nam Taehee – you’ve got a 1 in 313 chance of getting either of these players

The easiest team to find every sticker for is Senegal, doubtless being given a helping hand in terms of publicity by FIFA’s Senegalese general secretary Fatma Samoura. The most difficult team to complete is Saudi Arabia.

musicMagpie have created two teams – one made from the rarest of the rare, and one made from the most commonly found players,  as well as an interactive database of every single sticker, with information about your chances of finding them in your next pack.

See the full results ar https://www.musicmagpie.co.uk/got-got-need/

Contact the writer of this story at moc.l1709108749labto1709108749ofdlr1709108749owedi1709108749sni@n1709108749osloh1709108749cin.l1709108749uap1709108749