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Why the 2014 Panini Prizm World Cup Soccer Card Set Is So Iconic

Why the 2014 Panini Prizm World Cup Soccer Card Set Is So Iconic
Andrew Karasyk


Photo: Pixabay from Pexels


The trading card market saw tremendous growth in 2020. While baseball and basketball cards tend to draw most of the attention, soccer cards have actually seen the highest annual sales growth rate with a 1585% year-over-year increase according to the State of the Card market report. For reference, the second-highest sub-category in the sports market was basketball cards, which grew 373%. 


As interest continues to grow, we take a look at one of the most coveted sets in the hobby, the 2014 Panini Prizm World Cup set, and explore what makes it so desirable. 

It brought soccer cards to the masses.


The 2014 Panini Prizm World Cup set was the first set of soccer cards ever produced by the Prizm line. Prizm being one of the most popular sports trading card brands, this particular set is often credited with bringing soccer cards to the mainstream hobby. That year, it outsold many hockey, baseball, basketball, and football sets


Photo: PSA

It contains very rare cards. 


The 2014 Panini Prizm World Cup set was produced with fewer base cards (201) than the subsequent Prizm soccer card sets, making it one of the most coveted soccer card sets and helping soccer cards in general to garner strong demand. 


The specific cards produced for the 2014 World Cup set also command strong collector interest. One of the main hallmarks is its rare colored refractors, such as Blue (/199), Red (/149), Purple (99), Green Crystal (/25), Gold (/10), Gold Power (/5), and Black (/1). Many relatively scarce autographed cards were also produced, such as the Combo Signatures (/10) and Yellow and Green El Samba Prizms (/1), and then there are the inserts featuring iconic games or moments, with similar scarcity to the refractors. 


It doubles as World Cup memorabilia.


Photo: Pixabay from Pexels

The World Cup could be considered the second largest world sporting event after the Olympics. According to FIFA, the 2018 World Cup racked up 3.57 billion viewers worldwide, and the 2014 contest reached 3.2 billion. 


The Prizm World Cup trading card sets are produced to commemorate soccer’s grandest event, and just like the Olympics, it only happens every four years. Thus, World Cup sets can only be produced every four years. The 2014 set being the first of World Cup trading card sets ever produced means it holds a particularly special place in collectors’ eyes.

It features some of soccer’s all-time superstars.



Lionel Messi is currently ranked as the #1 soccer player in the world and considered by many to be the rightful recipient of the GOAT title. 


Playing his entire 16-year career with FC Barcelona, Messi sits in a league of his own as the only player to receive a record six Ballon d'OR awards, a record six European Golden Shoes, 10 La Liga titles, 4 Champions League titles, and 6 Copas del Rey.  


Panini Prizm World Cup
Photo: PSA

Cristiano Ronaldo is ranked as one of the top 2 players in the game. Beginning his career in 2002, Ronaldo has amassed 30 significant trophies across a series of leagues in his career. 


Most recently, Ronaldo scored his 760th career goal, surpassing the legendary Pelé and making him the leader with the most goals scored by a player in soccer history. 

A PSA 9 version of Ronaldo’s #161 Green Crystal Prizm sold for $12.3k in December 2020. It’s worth noting that there is only one other known PSA 9 of this variation and no card that is graded higher.


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As the world’s most popular sport, soccer has fans in every corner of the world, pointing to the potential for significant demand for high quality, notable, and scarce assets related to the sport. The 2014 Panini Prizm World Cup set stands out as one of the most iconic assets in this regard.



Otis has a Lionel Messi Green Crystal Rookie Card from the 2014 Panini Prizm World Cup set, numbered to /25, only 2 of which have received a PSA 10 grade trading on the platform. 


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