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Ever wonder about the stories behind some of the most prized soccer cards in the world? Well, we’ll reveal the top 10 best soccer cards of all time. These are snapshots of soccer legends and moments that have captured the hearts of fans — and also the investors who sold these for millions of dollars. From the early days of Pele to the modern era of Messi and Ronaldo, these cards are chapters in the thrilling stories of soccer legends.

Let’s get into it, shall we?

Best Soccer Rookie Cards of All Time

Let’s look at some of the coolest soccer cards out there. More than cards, they’re snapshots of soccer history and the heroes who made it.

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Also, check out: 5 Young Soccer Forwards to Buy in 2024.

1. 1957 Pele A Americana Balas Futebol RC #11

1957 A Americana Balas Futebol Pele

This card is all about Pele, one of the greatest soccer players ever. It’s from 1957 before most of us were born! This card is Pele’s first-ever card. It won’t be wrong to say that this is soccer history in your hands. Pele was only 17 when he wowed everyone at the 1958 World Cup, and this card takes us back to those early days of his amazing career.

  • Sold for $486,000


2. 2019 Erling Haaland Topps Chrome Bundesliga #72

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2019 Topps Chrome Erling Haaland Bundesliga Autographs Superfractor

Erling Haaland is a goal-scoring machine, and this card is all about capturing his rise to fame. It’s from 2019. What’s cool is that it’s got his autograph, making it even more special amongst fans and investors. It’s a card that shows a young player on his way to becoming a big star. For fans of Haaland, this card is a must-have.

  • Sold for $442,800


3. 2004 Lionel Messi Panini Sports Mega Cracks RC #71

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2004 Panini Sports Mega Cracks Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi is a name everyone knows, and this card is from way back in 2004 when he was starting. It’s his rookie card, which means it’s the first card ever made for him. This card is sought after because it’s like the beginning of the story of one of the best players in soccer history. It’s a reminder of where Messi started and all the amazing things he’s done since.

  • Sold for $336,000


4. 2003 Cristiano Ronaldo Panini Sports Mega Craques RC #137

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2003 Cristiano Ronaldo Panini Sports Mega Craques

This is where the Cristiano Ronaldo story began, on a card from 2003. It’s his first card; back then, he was just a young player with great potential. Now, he’s one of the biggest names in soccer. This card is really popular because it’s a reminder of how every great player starts somewhere. It’s a must-have for Ronaldo fans because it’s where his professional journey kicked off.

  • Sold for $312,000


5. 1977 Diego Maradona Argentina Futbol Juniors RC #11

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1977 Futbol Diego Maradona Argentina Juniors rookie card

Diego Maradona is a legend in soccer, and this 1977 card is from when he played for Argentina Juniors, way before he became famous worldwide. What’s unique about this card is that it’s not just a regular card; it’s part of a disc set. It’s a cool collectible for anyone who loves soccer history, especially Maradona’s incredible career.

  • Sold for $161,000


6. 2002 Panini Futebol Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal Stickers #306

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2002 Panini Futebol Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal Stickers 306

Another Cristiano Ronaldo gem, this one from 2002. It’s a sticker, not a traditional card, making it slightly different. It shows Ronaldo playing for his home country, Portugal. This sticker is a hit with collectors because it’s one of the earliest representations of Ronaldo in his national team colors, capturing the beginning of his journey to becoming a soccer icon.

  • Sold for $98,400


7. 1959 Heinerle Pele

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best soccer rookie cards to invest in

Here’s another Pele classic from 1959. This card is from his early days and is a real treasure for any soccer fan. It’s a snapshot of the young Pele, capturing his talent and promise before the world knew his name. This card is not just about owning a piece of Pele’s career. It’s more about owning a piece of soccer history from when it was a different ball game.

  • Sold for $34,440


8. 2014 Lionel Messi Panini Prizm World Cup #12

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2014 Panini World Cup Prizm Lionel Messi Silver

The 2014 World Cup was a big deal, and this card of Lionel Messi from that year is just as impressive. It’s a Gold Prizm card, which means it’s shiny and majestic. This card shows Messi during one of the biggest events in soccer, making it a favorite for fans. It’s not just about how it looks, though. It reminds us of the memories of the 2014 World Cup and Messi’s magical performance on the field.

  • Sold for $522,000


9. 2020 Jude Bellingham Topps Chrome UCL Auto #JBL

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Jude Bellingham’s rookie cards are on file. He is one of the exciting young talents in soccer, and this card from 2020 is his hottest rookie card. His autograph is what makes it super special – not every day you get a signed card from a rising star. This card is a hit because it’s like getting a glimpse of the future of soccer. This card is a perfect pick for anyone keeping an eye on the next generation of soccer stars.

  • Price: $1,000 – $5,000


10. 2004 Lionel Messi Mundicromo Liga RC #617

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2004 Lionel Messi Mundicromo Liga

Another Lionel Messi rookie card, this time from 2004. This card is from his early days in La Liga — and it’s pretty rare. It’s a reminder of where Messi’s incredible career in club soccer started. For Messi fans, this card is a piece of his history, back when he was beginning to show the world his talent. It’s a classic and a must-have for anyone following his journey.

  • Price: Up to $32,000


3 Most Valuable Soccer Cards

Here are the three most valuable cards in soccer history.

1.     1958 Alifabolaget Pele Rookie Card #635

  • Sold for $1.33 million.

This card is a true gem in the world of soccer collectibles. Featuring Pelé, the Brazilian football legend, it harks back to his rookie years. Its high value is attributed to Pelé’s global recognition as one of the best players in soccer history. This card is not just a collector’s item but a piece of sporting heritage, encapsulating the early days of a footballing genius who would redefine the sport.

2.    2004 Panini Sports Mega Cracks Lionel Messi Rookie Card #71

  • Sold for $336,000.

Lionel Messi’s rookie card from 2004 is highly sought after. It marks Messi’s debut in the professional soccer world, captured during his early days at Barcelona. Messi’s journey from a promising young talent to one of the greatest players of all time adds immense value to this card. Collectors and fans treasure this card to symbolize the beginning of an era dominated by Messi’s unparalleled skills.

3.    2002-03 Panini Futebol Portugal Mega Craques Cristiano Ronaldo Rookie Card #137

  • Sold for $312,000.

This card, featuring a young Cristiano Ronaldo, is a prized collector possession. Dating back to Ronaldo’s early days in Portuguese football, it’s a snapshot of the start of his incredible journey in the sport. Ronaldo’s rise to global fame, marked by extraordinary talent and relentless hard work, makes this card not just a collector’s item but a tribute to one of soccer’s most iconic figures.

Why Soccer Cards Are Becoming More Popular in the US

Soccer cards are becoming a big deal in the US, and it’s not hard to see why. This trend is because of the growing love for soccer in America and the exciting ways people can connect online.

First off, soccer’s popularity in the US is skyrocketing. It’s not just a game played and watched by a few; it’s becoming a major sport, just like baseball and basketball. More people are tuning in to watch MLS games, and there’s a lot of buzz about US players making it big in Europe.

This rising interest in soccer naturally leads to more people wanting to collect something that connects them to the sport.

Then there’s the influence of international soccer. Leagues like the English Premier League, La Liga, and the Bundesliga are drawing huge audiences in the US. Fans are watching these games as well as closely following the players and teams.

This global connection has sparked an interest in collecting cards of international stars like Messi, Ronaldo, and Mbappe, making soccer cards a way to feel closer to these far-off leagues.

What’s more, social media and online marketplaces have also played a big role. Platforms like Instagram and eBay make it easy for fans to learn about soccer cards, see what’s out there, and start their collections. A whole online community is sharing their finds and tips, making collecting soccer cards more accessible and fun.

Finally, soccer cards are more than just collectibles; they’re seen as an investment. Some of these cards, especially rare and rookie cards, can increase in value over time. This makes collecting soccer cards exciting as a hobby and a potential way to make money.

All these factors combine to explain why soccer cards are becoming a hit in the US. It’s a mix of the growing love for the sport, the global reach of soccer, the power of social media, and the thrill of collecting something that might be worth a lot someday.

Long-term Outlook on Soccer Cards as an Investment

Soccer cards are increasingly being seen as a smart choice for the long term when it comes to investing in collectibles. Let’s explain why these little pieces of cardstock might be worth more than just the printed paper.

Firstly, the collectibles market, in general, has been booming. From vintage baseball cards to comic books, we’ve seen how these items can skyrocket in value over time. Soccer cards are joining this trend.

As soccer’s popularity grows worldwide, especially in the US, the demand for soccer memorabilia, including cards, is rising. This means that cards bought today could become much more valuable.

Comparing soccer cards to other sports memorabilia is also interesting. While baseball and basketball cards have been American staples for decades, soccer cards are relatively new. This novelty brings a fresh wave of interest and potential for growth.

As more people become soccer fans, the demand for soccer cards will increase, potentially driving their value.

Another point to consider is the global appeal of soccer. Soccer has a massive global fan base, unlike some sports that are popular mainly in specific regions. This worldwide interest adds a unique value to soccer cards, especially those of international superstars or World Cup editions.

Experts in the collectibles market are optimistic about soccer cards. Soccer cards will become a more prominent part of the collectibles market as the sport’s popularity grows, especially among younger generations. The success of recent high-profile card sales at auctions and online platforms also points to a bright future.

While all investments carry risks, soccer cards show promising potential. With the sport’s rising popularity, global reach, and the general trend in collectibles, investing in soccer cards could be smart for those looking to diversify their investment portfolio with something fun and potentially profitable.

Wrap Up

We’ve explored timeless treasures that capture the essence of soccer’s greatest legends and moments. For collectors and fans alike, these cards are a way to hold onto a piece of the sport’s history, connect with heroes who have graced the field, and celebrate the passion and excitement of soccer. The stories behind each card remind us why this beautiful game continues to captivate hearts worldwide.

So whether you’re just a fan collecting your favorite star’s cards or an investor looking to make a fortune, these are cards worth considering.

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