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Euro 2024 stickers: Why are fans unhappy with this year’s collection?

For every major international football tournament, there is an army of fans – young and old – who eagerly await the release of the official sticker album, and have done for the last 50 years.

The Euro 2024 stickers are no different – well that was until fans realised that there were some major omissions from the squads.

That's because the official Euro 2024 stickers are provided by trading card company Topps, instead of the usual well-loved Italian company Panini.

Euro 2024 stickers
Photo by Icon Sport

Euro 2024 stickers: Why are fans upset?

Fans are unhappy primarily because some major names have been left out of the squads such as England's Bukayo Saka, Phil Foden and John Stones. Instead, the Three Lions page in the sticker album includes Leicester City's Luke Thomas and Rico Lewis of Manchester City.

 

22-year-old Luke Thomas has represented England at all youth levels up from Under 18 to Under 21, but is yet to earn a senior cap. Meanwhile, Rico Lewis has played just one game at senior level, a 1-1 draw away to North Macedonia in the qualifiers for this tournament.

The reason is that – while Topps have won the rights to make the official Euro 2024 stickers in the UK – Panini still have the rights to certain squads such as England, Italy, Germany and Spain.

This means that some squads are not even pictured in the official kits.

 

Another bizarre twist to the tale has seen Wales feature in the sticker book even though they didn't qualify for the tournament. It's been speculated that this is because the album was confirmed before the qualification process for Euro 2024 was complete.

Got, Got Need

It's not a cheap hobby either. Experts calculated that completing the Panini World Cup 2022 sticker book would have cost fans around £880 in total.

Of course the invention of the internet means that there are a number of places where fans can swap stickers, including Facebook groups that can be found with a simple search on the platform.

Another way is to search for the hashtag #gotgotneed on X to find other collectors who are ready to swap.

Euro 2024 stickers: Topps and Panini war of words

Topps have admitted that there are a ‘small number' of players missing from the squads in their album for Euro 2024 but didn't hesitate to throw some shade at their rival in the process.

“This is due to the tournament's former sticker partner having blocked certain parts of the collection, to the detriment of the fans,” a spokesperson for Topps told the BBC.

“Unlike the former sticker partner, we are committed to the fans and believe the offering of stickers and cards – and range of current and former players – will get everyone excited for the tournament.”

Meanwhile, Panini has launched a rival ‘tournament edition' sticker book and didn't hesitate to add to the war of words with Topps.

“Panini has been synonymous with football for over 60 years, and we remain committed to producing the best possible product for our collectors,” their spokesperson said.

“We hope our collectors will enjoy finding players for England alongside favourites from France, Germany, Italy and Spain, all in 100% official kits, in this compact and completable collection.”

It seems that this war between sticker manufacturers has seen fans lose out once again, taking the shine off what is normally a huge part of enjoying an international summer tournament.


Chloe Digby

An experienced freelance football writer, editor and podcaster, Chloe has worked for Forbes, the Guardian, the BBC, Mundial Magazine, FourFourTwo Magazine the iPaper, OneFootball, Tortoise Media and many more. Chloe has been a regular at Stockport County since 1995 and also follows Fiorentina. She is an expert on fan culture, having traveled all over England and Italy watching football.

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