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Go Back   Net54baseball.com Forums > Net54baseball Postwar Sportscard Forums > Golf / Soccer / Cricket Cards Forum

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  #1  
Old 11-17-2017, 10:38 AM
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Default Top Soccer Cards

OK, so this area has been quite dead for awhile now, so I decided to try and get it going with this post.

I was asked the other day about the top 15 soccer cards of all time and I started thinking that it is a very difficult question, but one that I think that I should (at some point) put pen to paper on. For now, I will just post some highlights with some Wikipedia links if you are interested in learning about the player. Most pre-war soccer players (and indeed many of the best players from the 1950s, 60s & 70s) are unknown to many Americans.

Since this is a bit scholarly, I will start with the first Captain for England, Oxford educated, G.O. Smith. One of the first soccer cards issued with one of the sport's first stars in a super scarce and attractive card... let's say that this card basically "started it all" for soccer and soccer cards... or correctly said, football and football cards!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G._O._Smith
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Last edited by aljurgela; 11-17-2017 at 10:39 AM. Reason: adding a link to wikipedia
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  #2  
Old 11-17-2017, 05:27 PM
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Default The King

Great post Al and concur with the Smith. It is an absolute beauty. When I think of top ten soccer (futbol) cards I cant help but think of the greatest and most well known name to ever grace the futbol pitch.
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  #3  
Old 11-18-2017, 10:36 AM
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Default Absolutely Noel.... the Pele rookies are great (and hot) right now!

Here is another one that is probably a lesser known guy to most Americans (who are not die hard Real Madrid fans), but pretty much a top 10 player in every legit soccer ranking/poll... the Argentine/Spanish Alfredo Di Stefano and this is the pretty rare 1948/1949 Revancha card. He has any earlier card/disc - the Monte Cudine, but there is more mystery in those cards that one would like despite the fact that PSA now grades them.

Here is more about the stud:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfredo_Di_St%C3%A9fano
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  #4  
Old 11-18-2017, 10:56 PM
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I am interested in reading this thread. Nearly my entire collection consists of non-sports cards or at least cards from outside the big four U.S. sports. I always love reading about some of the iconic cards from outside the big four U.S. sports. I am familiar with the various 1958-59 Pele cards and some of the sport's other major cards, but I would be interested in reading what four cards knowledgeable soccer collectors would put on a Mt. Rushmore of soccer cards.
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  #5  
Old 11-20-2017, 10:41 AM
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Default Fascinating!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bored5000 View Post
I am interested in reading this thread. Nearly my entire collection consists of non-sports cards or at least cards from outside the big four U.S. sports. I always love reading about some of the iconic cards from outside the big four U.S. sports. I am familiar with the various 1958-59 Pele cards and some of the sport's other major cards, but I would be interested in reading what four cards knowledgeable soccer collectors would put on a Mt. Rushmore of soccer cards.
This is tough and I am sure that most key countries could have their "own", and it gets even more complicated when you break down by country, position, etc.

So I guess, if you wanted to see who appears at the highest level of pretty much every poll (for what that is worth), I would likely have:

Pele (IFFHS:1, World Soccer:1, Top End: 1, 1-20 FIFA Internet: 2, FIFA Mag & Grand Jury: 1)

Maradona (IFFHS:5, World Soccer:2, Top End: 2, 1-20 FIFA Internet: 1, FIFA Mag & Grand Jury: 3)

Franz Beckenbauer (IFFHS:3, World Soccer:4, Top End: 4, 1-20 FIFA Internet: 8, FIFA Mag & Grand Jury: 4)

Johan Cruyff (IFFHS:2, World Soccer:3, Top End: 3, 1-20 FIFA Internet: 13, FIFA Mag & Grand Jury: 5)

Michel Platini (IFFHS:7, World Soccer:5, Top End: 5, 1-20 FIFA Internet: 15, FIFA Mag & Grand Jury: 6)

Alfredo Di Stefano (IFFHS:4, World Soccer:6, Top End: 6, 1-20 FIFA Internet: 14, FIFA Mag & Grand Jury: 2)

So, I guess we start with the players and then we look at the cards. This does not mean, however, that these would be the most valuable of all cards. But If I were only going to pick a Mt. Rushmore, I guess that you would have to start with the best players of all time. Of course, I think that we should discuss Messi and Ronaldo as they are truly in the conversation, but I will try and steer away from more "modern" issues.
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Last edited by aljurgela; 11-20-2017 at 10:50 AM. Reason: correcting a number
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  #6  
Old 11-20-2017, 10:59 AM
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Default Cruyff

So here is the a rookie card of the "best" European footballer of all time. There is a smaller, more typical "card" - the 1967-67 Parilex (from Portugal) and a German issue from 1968 (Sicker Verlag).

If you want to learn a bit more:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johan_Cruyff
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Old 11-20-2017, 12:08 PM
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First of all, nobody on planet earth knows who G.O. Smith was (except for Al Jurgela). To make my point, I did a search on eBay and I see a few G.O. Smith cards up from the same seller, who is probably Al Jurgela! LOL

Now when PSA did the Mount Rushmore thing, they did include modern cards as well. For example, they selected the 1979 O-Pee-Chee Wayne Gretzky RC for their hockey list. So I decided to do the same thing. Here is my choice below:
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  #8  
Old 11-20-2017, 04:30 PM
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Default Very good point!

Quote:
Originally Posted by samosa4u View Post
First of all, nobody on planet earth knows who G.O. Smith was (except for Al Jurgela). To make my point, I did a search on eBay and I see a few G.O. Smith cards up from the same seller, who is probably Al Jurgela! LOL

Now when PSA did the Mount Rushmore thing, they did include modern cards as well. For example, they selected the 1979 O-Pee-Chee Wayne Gretzky RC for their hockey list. So I decided to do the same thing. Here is my choice below:
This is absolutely a legitimate Mt. Rushmore (especially if the Messi and Ronaldo are PSA 10s)!

My post here was not really about just the top 4 cards because there are literally hundreds of players over the past century in the world's most played game! And there are a number of people who do know who GO Smith was - especially in the UK. It is kindof like pretty much everyone knows who Mickey Mantle was, but what about Pop Lloyd or Oscar Charleston? The "average" fan probably does not know about those guys, but Bill James catalogs them as top 30 all time players (#4 for Charleston, I believe).

When you calculate scarcity, there are some pretty amazing choices to be had, but I would tend to believe that the Pele, Messi and Ronaldo rookies will be easy to sell... always! A bit common for my taste, but still amazing options.
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Old 11-20-2017, 05:30 PM
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Default Maradona

Pre-the Messi / Ronaldo age, most had Maradona #1 or #2 overall in the world. The is the scarce 1977 Fulbito card.
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  #10  
Old 11-21-2017, 02:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samosa4u View Post
First of all, nobody on planet earth knows who G.O. Smith was (except for Al Jurgela). To make my point, I did a search on eBay and I see a few G.O. Smith cards up from the same seller, who is probably Al Jurgela! LOL

Now when PSA did the Mount Rushmore thing, they did include modern cards as well. For example, they selected the 1979 O-Pee-Chee Wayne Gretzky RC for their hockey list. So I decided to do the same thing. Here is my choice below:
Thanks for the posts, guys. I have been interested in the responses. I have only a basic knowledge of soccer cards, but I am familiar with the major cards. I am not at all surprised by your four choices.

The only thing I wondered about was keeping a Mt. Rushmore at just one card per player and going with either the Quigol or the Alifabolaget for Pele. That would open up a Mt. Rushmore spot for something like the '78 Crack Diego Maradona sticker.

IMO, a Mt. Rushmore should not be an obscure card of which only one or a couple examples exist; it should be four iconic cards that everyone who is a collector of that sport is familiar with.

Last edited by Bored5000; 11-21-2017 at 02:27 AM.
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  #11  
Old 11-21-2017, 08:10 AM
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As a very casual fan Id go with the names I know: Pele Maradona Di Stefano and Id like to see some love for Lev Yashin too. The Black Spider deserves to rep the goalies. I was a goalie in soccer and hockey so I like goalies. In hockey I collect Jacques Plante and Glenn Hall.

In terms of cards I love the Heinerle Pele card, the 77 Maradona where hes practically a kid, the Escenas Deportivas Di Stefano and the 67 Crack Yashin caricature card with him in a spiders web. Used to own three of them but downsizing has taken its toll.
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  #12  
Old 11-21-2017, 08:42 AM
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Default What about Puskas?

He is a top player by most counts. Even the most "light" soccer fans would likely know of him. A miscut version of this card just sold for $2200 a few weeks ago on eBay (292300964718).

His IFFHS rating is #6 overall and World Soccer and Top End Soccer have him at #7 overall - and a pretty rare card.

For those who want to learn more about him:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferenc_Pusk%C3%A1s
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  #13  
Old 11-21-2017, 08:52 AM
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Default Pele cards

If we are talking just about the Pele rookies. I used to think that the ALFA was the preferred card, but now I think that I am on the Quigol. The case for the ALFA (for me) was that it was issued in 1958 at the World Cup where he made his international debut (and came into immediate stardom)... it is cardboard (instead of thinner paper) and I loved the photo of him looking confused or angry (or focused) in an absolutely full stadium in the background.

The Quigol has taken on a life of its own. I believe one sold for nearly $15k in and HA auction recently, so it is definitely getting the love! The card design is cool and it is at least "thicker" paper, so it is not as thin as the Titulares. I also like the VAV a lot and it seems to me to be "rarer" than either of the Brazilian issues (Quigol/Titulares - except card #86) or the ALFA, but given that he shares the card with VAVA, it is less desirable than the Quigol or the ALFA.

In the end, I think that the market has voted for the Quigol and I will not really fight that assessment too hard, though I think that any of these 5 cards are great cards/stickers to have.
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Old 11-21-2017, 09:30 AM
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Default Yashin cards for Adam

Here are some of my favorites of Yashin... widely considered the best goalkeeper of all time (#11 or World Soccer and Top End... #20 FIFA internet).

Here is more about him:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lev_Yashin
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Old 11-21-2017, 10:41 AM
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Default Pele VAV

Here is the Pele VAV to complete the Pele picture.
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Old 11-21-2017, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bored5000 View Post

The only thing I wondered about was keeping a Mt. Rushmore at just one card per player and going with either the Quigol or the Alifabolaget for Pele. That would open up a Mt. Rushmore spot for something like the '78 Crack Diego Maradona sticker.
When coming up with this list, I had to look at two things: price and popularity. Pele's Quigol and Alifabolaget cards are more popular than the Crack Maradona. Both of these cards also cost a lot more as well. This is the reason why this card did not make the list. Even Pele's Titulares #86 card ranks higher than the Crack Maradona.

As a collector, I am confused as to what we can call a Maradona rookie card. It looks like he had quite a few cards issued in the late 1970s in Argentina. At first I wanted to go after his Crack, but then I saw his 1977 Arg Jrs. disc. By the way, can a little disc even count as a card? It also looks like he has a few other cards from 1978 as well - it's all very confusing! None of them has come out as the winner. At least with Pele, collectors agree that anything of his which was manufactured in 1958 can be considered his rookie.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aljurgela View Post

In the end, I think that the market has voted for the Quigol
This is true. The Quigol is clearly the winner of the two.

The story behind this card is just crazy though. I was speaking to a big Pele collector and he told me that his Quigol Pele sold for only $20 USD back in 2003 on eBay! I also had a chance to purchase a beautiful PSA 5 example a couple years ago for around $4,000 USD, but I thought the seller was out of his mind - oh, how I regret walking away from it! Anyhow, the value has just exploded over the past few years. Any seller who owns this card, especially in mid to high grade, can ask for big money and get it.
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Old 11-21-2017, 03:37 PM
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Al -- where does Zidane rank on the various lists you have referenced, or is he too new?
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Old 11-21-2017, 04:41 PM
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I'm very interested in the opinions on this thread. I'm not a huge soccer fan, though I enjoy it more now, but without the money to pursue the high-end cards of the big 4 sports, I've focused on some of the others, boxing, golf, auto racing, soccer, Olympics, etc.
Peter's mention of Zidane reminded me of how I started making my list of cards to collect. By no means did I use this as my one and only way to create a "want list" but it's a start and created a little discussion when I posted a similar snip on the boxing forum. (BTW, I wasn't familiar with which rankings were considered the best or most prestigious, I just googled "Best Soccer Players Ever" or similar.
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Old 11-21-2017, 09:54 PM
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Peter, are you a Zidane fan? His rookie card is the 1992 Panini (#43). I have a beautiful PSA graded example with razor sharp corners if youre interested.
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Old 11-26-2017, 05:18 AM
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Love this thread all while not owning a single soccer card.

Do you think the recent Pele movie spiked the interest in his cards? It would make sense but not sure the timing on increase of value aligns with when the movie was released. Just a thought because the movie was very well done.
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Old 11-26-2017, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Il Padrino View Post

Do you think the recent Pele movie spiked the interest in his cards?
It definitely did. Think of it like this: if Hollywood didn't make all those superhero movies, then the comic books wouldn't be worth so much today. It's no different with athletes.
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Old 11-26-2017, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samosa4u View Post
It definitely did. Think of it like this: if Hollywood didn't make all those superhero movies, then the comic books wouldn't be worth so much today. It's no different with athletes.
That's great. Shame that HollyWEIRD has such an influence - the reality is this... once the movie wears off there should be a moderate dip in the prices.
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Old 11-26-2017, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
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the reality is this... once the movie wears off there should be a moderate dip in the prices.
But when exactly will the movie wear off? A couple of months ago, Heritage Auctions sold a PSA 5 example for $15,000 USD. The film, Birth of a Legend, came out spring of 2016.
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Old 11-26-2017, 04:22 PM
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Thanks Al. Now can you post that insane 68 Pele I sold you? I still miss that one...
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Old 11-26-2017, 05:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samosa4u View Post
When coming up with this list, I had to look at two things: price and popularity. Pele's Quigol and Alifabolaget cards are more popular than the Crack Maradona. Both of these cards also cost a lot more as well. This is the reason why this card did not make the list. Even Pele's Titulares #86 card ranks higher than the Crack Maradona.

As a collector, I am confused as to what we can call a Maradona rookie card. It looks like he had quite a few cards issued in the late 1970s in Argentina. At first I wanted to go after his Crack, but then I saw his 1977 Arg Jrs. disc. By the way, can a little disc even count as a card? It also looks like he has a few other cards from 1978 as well - it's all very confusing! None of them has come out as the winner. At least with Pele, collectors agree that anything of his which was manufactured in 1958 can be considered his rookie.



This is true. The Quigol is clearly the winner of the two.

The story behind this card is just crazy though. I was speaking to a big Pele collector and he told me that his Quigol Pele sold for only $20 USD back in 2003 on eBay! I also had a chance to purchase a beautiful PSA 5 example a couple years ago for around $4,000 USD, but I thought the seller was out of his mind - oh, how I regret walking away from it! Anyhow, the value has just exploded over the past few years. Any seller who owns this card, especially in mid to high grade, can ask for big money and get it.
The explosion in value of the Pele Quigol card is similar to what David Peck talks about elsewhere on the board with regard to the landmark 1982-83 Wrestling All-Stars sets. Peck has mentioned on here before that he bought his first PSA 9 Hulk Hogan card from that set for $50 in 2009 or 2010. The Hogan card is now a $2,500 card in that grade.

Peck also mentions on here often that he never would have believed he would see high-grade commons selling for $1,000 from those sets (the PSA registry is quite a drug ).

I collect far more for fun than as something I hope to make money off of, but that is also at least part of the reason why I love non-sports cards and cards outside the big four sports. There seems to be a lot more possibility of a card exploding in value as new collectors become aware a particular card exists than what there is in baseball cards. The iconic baseball cards of the hobby have been pricey for a long time.

Last edited by Bored5000; 11-26-2017 at 05:49 PM.
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Old 11-26-2017, 09:09 PM
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Default Another key pre war card

Here is one of Matthias Sindelar. As far as I know there are only two graded copies of these, one of the best pre-war forwards ever.

You can learn more about him and how he refused to play for Germany (he was Austrian) and his mysterious death here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthias_Sindelar

IFFHS has him as the 22 best player ever.
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Old 11-27-2017, 12:16 PM
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Default Zinedine Zidane

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter_Spaeth View Post
Al -- where does Zidane rank on the various lists you have referenced, or is he too new?
Hey Peter, Zidane is #28 on World Soccer, #28 on Top End Soccer and #9 on the "1-20" FIFA Internet poll, but did not make the FIFA Grand Jury top 10 selection.

Regardless, it is easy to say that he is a top 30 player of all time, in my opinion, and I am definitely a fan of accumulating his rookie card.
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Old 11-27-2017, 12:58 PM
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Default For those who want a close up of the Pele Quigol

Here is a close up of the Pele Quigol.
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Old 11-27-2017, 01:28 PM
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Very nice. Is it yours? You should crack it out and give it to PSA because Beckett sucks when it comes to vintage. If PSA gives it a 4, then it will still be worth more than a BVG 6.
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Old 11-27-2017, 06:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aljurgela View Post
Hey Peter, Zidane is #28 on World Soccer, #28 on Top End Soccer and #9 on the "1-20" FIFA Internet poll, but did not make the FIFA Grand Jury top 10 selection.

Regardless, it is easy to say that he is a top 30 player of all time, in my opinion, and I am definitely a fan of accumulating his rookie card.
I am surprised the numbers are that low. As a casual fan, I would have thought top 10 easily across the board.
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Old 11-28-2017, 10:32 AM
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Default Yes

Quote:
Originally Posted by samosa4u View Post
Very nice. Is it yours? You should crack it out and give it to PSA because Beckett sucks when it comes to vintage. If PSA gives it a 4, then it will still be worth more than a BVG 6.
I may do that at some point... I am mostly a SGC fan, but this card may be destined for a PSA slab.
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Old 11-28-2017, 10:34 AM
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Default Yep...

Top 10/20/30 of all time is still HUGE... given the number of people who have played the sport over the past century globally! And some do have him in the top 10... so Zidane is certainly "The Man"...
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Old 11-29-2017, 02:55 PM
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Default Der Kaiser

Beckenbauer is routinely cited as the best defender ever.

IFFHS #3; World Soccer #4, Top End Soccer #4, FIFA Internet #8, FIFA Grand Jury #4.

Worth a read for those who may have interest:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franz_Beckenbauer
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Old 12-01-2017, 09:38 AM
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Default Platini

Platini is generally rated as the best French player of all time (generally ahead of Zidane - 28/29 in World Soccer and Top end Soccer and Just Fontaine - #30 in IFFHS)...

Here are some of his ratings:

IFFHS: #7, World Soccer #5, Top End Soccer #5, FIFA Internet #15 and FIFA Grand Jury #6

If you would like to learn more:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michel_Platini
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Old 12-01-2017, 09:49 AM
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Default Giuseppe Meazza

Meazza is widely considered one of the great pre-war stars. In fact, many would place him at the top of the list of pre-war stars. He also rates among the greats of all time when including post-war players as denoted by:

IFFHS #21 and Top End Soccer #37 ratings.

I have not seen many of these cards.

If you want to learn more:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giuseppe_Meazza
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Old 12-01-2017, 11:42 AM
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I very few Soccer/Football cards. This is my only pre-war card. I am curious where you would rank Billy Meredith and this card in general.


1902 WM Clarke & Son Ltd Football Series Billy Meredith (Rookie) by andy neubert, on Flickr
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Old 12-01-2017, 06:27 PM
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Default Meredith

OK, Billy Meredith was a stud... you can learn more about him here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Meredith

He was a huge star that played 20+ years and is one of the game's early stars.

He has a rookie card prior to this Clarke's ... and many other desirable cards. I will try to post a few in the coming days.

None of the "early" players really show up in the century rankings. The key players start showing up in the 1920s plus.
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Old 12-04-2017, 10:31 AM
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Andy, that is one scary-looking card! Meredith looks like a zombie - look at his eyes!
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Old 12-12-2017, 11:31 AM
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Default Raoul Diagne

So here is an important player, but not necessarily because of his accomplishments, but because of the milestone... Raoul Diagne was the first black player on the French National Team.

I love this card and there is another cool card of Rudi Hiden from this issue that I will post as well.
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Old 12-12-2017, 11:35 AM
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Default Rudi Hiden

Rudi was a great goal keeper from Austria and actually even got a cap for France.
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Old 03-16-2018, 03:50 PM
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Thanks for this thread - so many wonderful cards pictured!

For the Mount Rushmore of soccer cards I would select the following:

1902 Wills #37 Billy Meredith
Soccer cards have as rich a history as that of any other sport and thus one would be remiss to not include at least one Pre-War card. The 1902 Wills set was the first soccer only issue and Meredith is the most iconic figure from the era. Although G.O. Smith or Steve Bloomer may have been better players, Meredith is the one who starred for both English titans Manchester City and Manchester United, was involved in an infamous bribery scandal, and helped start the Professional Footballers Association. This is also Merediths most widely recognized rookie card and shows him in a City shirt as opposed to a the suits other players in the set are photographed in.
1958 Quigol #109 Pele
Pele is the greatest name in football history if not the greatest player and this is his most valuable rookie card. It is also arguably his most attractive RC due to the net and ball design - quite an attractive piece for the era!
1977 Futbol Discs #11 Diego Maradona
Alongside Pele, Maradona is considered the greatest player of the 20th century and this is his first card, showing him as a member of the Argentinos Juniors Club with his iconic mane. It is a scarce and unique issue.
2004 Panini Megacracks #71 Lionel Messi
If anyone could surpass the towering legacies of Pele and Maradona, it is Messi. This is his most attractive and valuable rookie card, featuring a solid design and a captivating image of Messi dribbling on his lethal left foot.

Honorable mention: 1946 Monte Cudine Discs Alfredo Di Stefano
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Old 05-10-2018, 01:18 PM
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Default Newest Beckenbauer rookie

Super excited to finally get this back from SGC.... these cards were issued with coffee and finding even a single copy is an Odyssey... and here is the Kaiser's rookie... WOW. One of my top 10 soccer cards for sure.
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Old 05-10-2018, 06:15 PM
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Wow, great card, Al! Never even seen that Beckenbauer.
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Old 05-10-2018, 09:48 PM
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Default Thanks....

Super happy with this card..... really still in shock....

Al
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Old 05-11-2018, 11:17 PM
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I was too young to see Beckenbauer play.

However, I always remember him as manager of a terrific West Germany team that won the 1990 World Cup in Italy. In particular, they destroyed a very good Yugoslavia team 4-1 in what was, I think, their opening match playing some of the best football I had ever seen.
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