EDICOLA NEWS: THE REVIEWS nr. 253
album: Uefa Nations League 2022/23 (Topps)
stickers: 244 (1-244)
starter pack: album + 30 stickers 4,99€
box: 50 packets (8 stickers per packet) 1,00€ each
mini box of 5 packets 4,99€
Could you imagine the Euro 2024 album, the first published by Topps, without the stickers of Italy, France, Germany and England? For 20 years Panini was unable to use the official England logo and shirts for their albums (with unfortunate results, remember the stickers of the 2002 World Cup?). Now the situation has been reversed, we hope that Topps can find the necessary agreements, because an album of the Europeans without the official logos and jerseys of the four main European football teams (only the fifth queen, Spain, is missing) would really be a half album.
Or in 2024 we shall find the official Euro album made by Topps and another album, made by Panini, with direct agreements with the federations. It is not the first time, the most striking case was USA94 where the original and official album was that of Upper Deck, but no one remembers it and this fact, honestly, should make the American multinational’s legs tremble a little.
Meanwhile, here is this Nations League 2022/23 album, rightly Topps takes advantage right now to send a salable product to the newsstands (something Panini did not do with the European female, in Italy), he does it by upsetting the parameters of the classic album on a competition, it looks more like a version with sticky stickers of the cards, where the players are divided, more or less, by role and even the graphics of the pages reflect the Match Attax.
It is a pity that the players of the four main national teams are present in a very limited number and with unicolor jerseys (“shirt of health” model) like certain albums we have seen in the past and which, we hoped, not to have to see Italy again in a unlikely white jersey, Germany in an even less black jersey and then France and England. These limitations allow you to see different stickers of footballers often little considered by this type of album or collections, if you then only look for the stickers of Haaland or Cristiano Ronaldo, well, they are there.
On the coats of arms, Topps has found a trick, instead of using the logos of the federations, here are the flags, on those Panini or anyone else, of course he cannot boast exclusive rights. The first pages of the album open with these stickers, it seems to have returned to certain mythical albums of the 60s, if you have ever wondered what the Andorran flag was like, for example, you can find it here.
Subsequently, a large part of the album is dedicated to the players divided by role or by “impact” on the pitch, from goalkeepers to top players, passing through the great forwards or defenders. Precisely according to what was written above, the photos printed on the album do not consider the great champions of the four national teams. Strange feeling, it’s like we have a Footballers album without printed photos of players from Inter, Milan, Juventus and Napoli.
Afterwards, the shaped stickers with the uniforms (obviously four are not the officers) of all the national teams and the reference to the country, its capital and the inhabitants. Conclusion with a part dedicated to the very recent history of the Nations League, highlights, curiosities, statistics and various stickers.
The most interesting aspect, also in view of the future Euro 2024 album, are the stickers with graphics that may have potential but must be improved. We’re not big fans of the information-filled stickers printed above but in this case we are really at a minimum. In perspective and if he wanted to, Topps could upset the canons by making all the shaped stickers. An idea that on the one hand intrigues us, on the other disturbs us, loving in the European and world albums that basic tradition for which we do not welcome epochal upheavals (the transition from Panini to Topps already seems more than enough).
The cost of the packets is interesting, 1 euro for 8 stickers (in any case two less than the Champions League packs), compared to the Panini parameters, a really positive date, who knows if it will be maintained in two years. Of course, we hope that by then agreements will have been reached to have a complete European album in all its parts, but the more we think about it, the more we believe there is a serious possibility of having two, where maybe together, they don’t make one ..
Must-have album? It depends on the point of view, for us it is still and somehow part of the European family, but at the same time a good collection of albums. on major international competitions, it can also be valid without, especially due to its setting, also far from the Panini RTWCs.
Collectors friends, the road ahead of us is all uphill!