World Cup fever rises in Argentina as stores sell Panini stickers

In Argentina’s convenience stores, children – and their parents – are caught up in a new craze: the hunt for football. world Cup stickers that sent the already sports-mad country into a frenzy and left many stores without stock to sell.

In the hometown of soccer legends Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi, signs in some shop windows read ‘no more stickers or albumsreferring to the 2022 collectible sticker albums ahead of the November tournament in Qatar.

The trend has generated a wave of memes and satire on social media, and even the creation of an app that lets you know where to get the coveted stickers. The new stock sold out within hours.

“It’s frustrating not to find any” said Exequiel Claverie, a 38-year-old media professional and father of three who is a fan of local club River Plate.

“I come home to (my kids) every day saying, ‘Hey daddy, did you buy some stickers?’ There are not any!”

Argentina, who won the Copa America last year, will travel to Qatar with other Latin American countries Brazil, Uruguay, Ecuador, Mexico and Costa Rica.

I need I need

Manufacturer of stickers Italy Panini says that this year, many adults also collect stickers, which increases the demand.

The suggested price for a pack of five stickers is 150 pesos (almost a dollar at the official rate), but the shortage has caused prices to double or triple in informal markets, including that of the Rivadavia park in Buenos Aires.

Completing the 600-sticker album could cost around 20,000 pesos, a high amount in a country facing high inflation and a severe economic crisis.

“The total cost of filling the album is high. In reality, you rarely have to buy everything yourself: Grandma or aunt always gives you a gift,” said Lucas Perrone, 39, a graphic designer, as he put stickers in the book with his two children.