Lionel Messi For 2013 Topps Allen & Ginter

Below is my pitch for the Argentine FC Barcelona star to get his own card, and autographed card, in 2013 Topps Allen & Ginter baseball.

Lionel Messi is one of the best footballers in the world right now. For those Americans, he is one of the best soccer players in the world right now. He just recently broke the record for most goals in a calendar year, a record held by Gerd Muller. In fact, he ended the calendar year with 91 goals, 6 more than Muller. That is impressive enough.

Football, soccer, whatever you want to call it is on the rise in the United States. It is one of the fastest growing spectator sports with Major League Soccer expanding to new markets and more people watching the EPL on the “tele” more than ever before. Who was the last international soccer star to appear in Ginter? Pele? That was 2009. (Maybe it wasn’t. But he is slated for 2013 Allen & Ginter!) Did we even see David Beckham? We’ve seen plenty American players like Hope Solo and Heather Mitts, Allen & Ginter could use a couple more soccer players instead of B list celebrities that no one ends up caring about.

The secondary market would be huge for Lionel Messi cards, especially autographs. He is a man beloved in Argentina and Spain, as well as around Europe for this talents on the pitch. It would also expose your products overseas with such a huge name. Lionel is 25 years old and just about hitting the prime of his career. He is going to continue to break records, win titles, and more awards. Although he lost the Player of the Year award to Iniesta, he did place a close second.

Topps, please bring international soccer to Allen & Ginter. If not Messi, maybe a big star like Wayne Rooney could make an appearance.

Preview: 2012 Upper Deck Soccer

The MLS season has already started and Upper Deck is ready to start their season on the pitch. Upper Deck will be coming out with their flagship brand for the MLS season in a few days and will feature all of the stars of “The Beautiful Game” here in the States.

Each box will contain 20 packs and 12 cards in each pack. You will be getting a ton of cards in a box of this product. Each box will also contain at least 1 autograph and 4 memorabilia cards. This product not only has a great number of beautifully designed base cards, but a good number of hits too to get you amped up for the rest of the soccer season. I’m sorry, futbol season.

You will also find a few newcomers in this set as well to get some of you favorite new rookies from the draft. With rookies, veterans, and some sweet autographs and memorabilia pieces, this looks like a worthwhile product for soccer fans.

At just under $100 a box, this is great for hit collectors, set collectors, or just plain old soccer fans here in the States…or abroad if you happen to like US soccer for some reason compared to any other league. You’ll be able to find this on shelves tomorrow, July 10, 2012, at your local card shop or online.

 

Mini-Break: 2011 Upper Deck SP Game Used Soccer

Hey there. I have a nice little mini-break to show you guys courtesy of the fine folks at Upper Deck.

I broke 3 packs of 2011 Upper Deck SP Game Used soccer. While it was not enough for a full review, I am going to share the contents and then after a few days of Upper Deck reviews, I’m going to have a mega-contest with a ton of Upper Deck cards. How’s that sound? So here’s what we pulled from these packs of futbol goodness.

Base:

As you can see, I got some Abby Wambach action in those base cards. Nice looking base cards too with some great shots. Definitely nice looking.

Rookies:

A couple of rookies here. Look similar to the NHL version from this brand, but that’s pretty usual. Nice looking rookies numbered to 499 so decently limited. Not bad at all.

Game Used:

I was never a fan of the game used design here in the NHL version so I feel the same with these. However, the best part about soccer jerseys is that they often feature some nice colors. That orange jersey of Brian Ching looks great embedded into that card.

So those cards look pretty good for the most part. The checklist is hit or miss in the US right now because we are just now getting accustomed to what star players are like. Everyone knows Donovan and Beckham but who else may others know? And at a price this high, the casual soccer collector may not want to buy a product like this. Is it too early for an SPGU product in the soccer market? It may be, but it will definitely catch on in the future as soccer is one of the fastest growing sports at the professional level in America.

Overall, a pretty nice product, just a tad bit expensive. What are your thoughts?

Thanks to Upper Deck for providing the packs to show to you all. You can visit them at their official website, their official blog, the Upper Deck Facebook page, or the Upper Deck Twitter account. They always have a ton of contests on Facebook and are quite chatty if you have questions on Twitter.