Mexico 1970

For the Mexico 70 collection Panini issued two different sets of cards and stickers. In Italy they produced green back and red/blue cards, and for the rest of the world (international market) they produced red/black cards.

The international cards were printed by Edizioni Panini, Modena, Italy with English, French and German text on the backs. They were distributed in the U.K. by Thorpe and Porter (Sales) Limited, Melton Road, Thurmaston, Leicester. This red/black set is regarded as Panini's first ever English set, though subsequent to this they switched to producing cards for the U.K. market under the name 'Top Sellers' until 1977 when they returned as Panini. See the separate Top Sellers page for details.

In Italy Panini cards were sold in the 1960s and early 1970s in packets containing four cards each at the cost of 10 lire. In each packet one card had the word VALIDA or BISVALIDA printed on the back. The Valida cards were one-point premium cards and Bisvalida two-points ('Bis' in Latin meaning two). Italian boys sent to Panini all the Valida and Bisvalida cards they collected and received desirable items not always available at cheap prices in shops like leather footballs, shirts of the favourite teams (in wool!), football shoes and so on. To give you an idea, to have a leather football a boy had to collect and send to Panini 300 Valida cards or 150 Bisvalida.

I am reliably informed that for the Mexico 70 set Panini charged 20 lire per packet and only provided 3 cards, and only Bisvalida cards were included (so each pack included two green back cards and one bisvalida). Note that the Bisvalida cards were not part of the international set, and therefore not part of the UK collection. Since many Bisvalida cards were returned to Panini to redeem gifts you normally find the green back cards available today.

Two different versions of the album were printed. The international album is shown on this page. The Italian album has a yellow band down the left and an image of a player doing an overhead kick in front of the Earth. The Italian album had an order form insert which included 4 red/blue cards or an unopened packet. You had to cut these cards with scissors from the form, and separate the four cards from each other before sticking in the album. To the best of my understanding the Italian set was all green cards except for the red-blue ones that you received with the album.

This is a very high quality set of cards in an excellent album. It is very collectable, and therefore album, stickers and cards fetch high prices. The stickers are self-adhesive, with a peel-off back. The cards are designed to be glued into the album. If you collect the stickers it is therefore ideal to collect them with their backing paper, though you may find that the glue has not lasted the tests of time. If you collect the cards it is best to collect them in 'never been stuck in an album' condition.

The set comprises the following (with galleries available via each link):

Mexico 70 (5 stickers, 1 card)
World Cup history 1930 - 1966 (8 stickers, 32 cards)
Group 1
Mexico (2 stickers, 15 cards)
Belgium (2 stickers, 12 cards)
El Salvador (2 stickers, 12 cards)
C.C.C.P. / U.S.S.R. (2 stickers, 15 cards)
Group 2
Italy (2 stickers, 15 cards)
Uruguay (2 stickers, 12 cards)
Sweden (2 stickers, 12 cards)
Israel (2 stickers, 12 cards)
Group 3
Brazil (2 stickers, 15 cards)
England (2 stickers, 15 cards)
Czechoslovakia (2 stickers, 12 cards)
Romania (2 stickers, 12 cards)
Group 4
Bulgaria (2 stickers, 12 cards)
Peru (2 stickers, 12 cards)
Morocco (2 stickers, 12 cards)
Germany (2 stickers, 15 cards)

Number in set: 288 (42 stickers, 242 cards)
Checklists: Set checklist or Team checklist
Műnchen 74

World Cup. A rare set of stickers, again produced for the international market. The sticker backs have text in six languages, with the English version being 'Ask your retailer the album for this collection of picture cards'. Huh? I think we know what it means.

Number in set: 400
Gallery: N/A
Checklists: N/A

Euro Football 77

Another 'international' Panini collection which was available in the U.K. through the distributors, Minicards Ltd. An album was available for the stickers. Some copies of the album were distributed for free through the Shoot/Goal magazine. The introduction to the album states 'Hallo Friends! Let me say it feels great to tell you that fantastic picture stickers, made by Edizioni Panini, the largest producer in the world, which are already well-known and enjoyed by most of the children in Europe are now available to all British children as well'. Are all Italian sentences this long?

Number in set: 288
Gallery: Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Germany, England, Spain, France, Greece, Switzerland, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Yugoslavia, Cyprus, Hungary, Malta, Holland, Norway, N. Ireland, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Rumania, Scotland, USSR, Finland, Sweden, Turkey and Wales
Checklists: N/A

Euro Football 78

Euro Football 78. Another 'international' collection which was available in the U.K.

Number in set: 256
Gallery: N/A
Checklists: N/A

Football 78

The first ever Panini-production (not Top Sellers) designed solely for the U.K. market. In an introduction to the album David Gregory, Editor of Shoot Magazine states '...this album... ranks as the latest publication to join the elite amongst football publications'. The album states that information in the album was 'compiled up to date on 20 September 1977'.The collection was actually distributed by Minicards Ltd, of Regina House, Queen Street, London, as sole U.K. and Eire distributors of Figurine Panini.

The self-adhesive stickers came in packets costing 5p each. The album was printed in Italy.

Number in set: 525
Gallery: N/A
Checklists: N/A

Argentina 78

Argentina 78. The album cover is shown.

Number in set: 400
Gallery: N/A
Checklists: N/A

Euro Football 79

Number in set: 400
Gallery: N/A
Checklists: N/A

Football 79

The second Panini production for the U.K. and Eire. Somehow Panini had managed to do a deal with the Football League, and proudly announced in the album that the collection was 'the only one to be approved by the Football League'. The album states that information in the album was 'compiled up to date on 30 September 1978'.The collection was again distributed by Minicards Ltd, of Regina House, Queen Street, London, as sole U.K. and Eire distributors of Figurine Panini. The self-adhesive stickers came in packets costing 5p each. The album was printed in Italy.

Number in set: 594
Gallery: N/A
Checklists: N/A

Football 80

Number in set: 582
Gallery: N/A
Checklists: N/A