Pack Animal: 2016 Panini Copa America Centenario Stickers

Soccer stickers!  For the two readers who care about such things!

I knew nothing about Copa America before buying this pack of stickers.

2016 Panini Copa America Centenario Stickers wrapper

Wikipedia and the MLS website… that’s Major League Soccer, not the realty website… tell me that the Copa America is the longest-running international soccer tournament in the world, and is traditionally contested every four years by 10 South American nations and two invited countries.  The prior Copa America was held in Chile last year, and the two invited countries were Mexico and Jamaica.

The Copa America is usually held in South America, but to commemorate the 100th anniversary (Centenario) of Copa America they said “Hey, let’s hold a one-off tournament, have it somewhere else this time… and invite the neighbors!”  So for this time around it’s being held in the United States (obviously outside of South America), and instead of two invited teams, there are six teams from CONCACAF (COnfederation of North American, Central American and Carribean Association Football).

The tournament started June 3rd (last night) with a match in Santa Clara,  CA between the US and Colombia, and will run through the finals on June 26th at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford NJ (a.k.a. “The Meadowlands”).

So… The stickers…

The stickers are fairly large, about 2″ x 3″. They are also designed to confuse the youth of the U.S.A., listing the height in meters, the weight in kilograms and the birthdate in European format (DD-MM-YYYY).

Sergio Romero is a goalie for Argentina and Manchester United.  He’s played in last year’s Copa America, the 2014 World Cup and the 2008 Olympics, so one would think that he’s quite good at what he does.
2016 Panini Copa America Centenario Stickers Sergio Romero

Here’s the back of Romero’s sticker.  The black circle with the “A” in it has some sort of significance I do not understand.  Some stickers I got had other letters, others were missing that dark circle entirely.
2016 Panini Copa America Centenario Stickers Sergio Romero back

Fabian Johnson is on Team USA and was born and raised in Munich.  That’s not Munich, Indiana, but Munich, Germany.  His father is American, which makes him eligible for the US team.
2016 Panini Copa America Centenario Stickers Fabian Johnson

Helibelton Palacios plays for Colombia and Deportivo Cali.
2016 Panini Copa America Centenario Stickers Helibelton Palacios

Jhon Murillo is Venezuelan, but makes his living in Portugal playing for Tondela.
2016 Panini Copa America Centenario Stickers Jhon Murillo

Every time I Googled one of these players, one of the suggested searches always came up as the player’s name followed by “FIFA 16”, which is a very popular video game.  I have a friend who often complains that her son left his homework or some other project until the last minute because he was playing FIFA all weekend.

One other thing about Copa American Centenario which is of interest to the general collecting community… Panini is introducing “Panini Instant”, which is pretty much the same thing as Topps Now, but they’re doing it for this tournament and the EURO 2016 tournament which starts next Friday.  I haven’t seen mention of the pricing for Panini Instant, but the first card(s) go on sale later today.  Cards will be numbered with the print run, and there will also be parallels that are numbered to 25, 5 and 1.  The escalation has begun.

UpdatePanini Instant is now live… A single “base” card is $9.99, #’ed to 25 is $49.99, #’ed to 5 is $99.99 and 1/1 is $249.99 (and today’s card is already sold).  Yikes.

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