martedì 20 ottobre 2020

Merlin's Premier League 2005

The Premier League 2004/2005 can be identified with José Mourinho. His Chelsea won the title with a record 95 points, leaving the title owner Arsenal 12 points behind. Top goalscorer of the season was Thierry Henry with 25 goals. 
The official sticker collection of the 2004/2005 season was released by Merlin for the 12th consecutive time (since the first edition in 1994). It is a large and classy collection counting 574 stickers and including autographed stickers of all the players. The album opens with the contents and an introductory page with two large size shiny stickers (the Premier League logo and trophy). Then the 20 Premier League clubs are shown in alphabetical order. Each club counts 28 stickers displaced over six pages. In the first two pages the club is presented with stickers of the badge (shiny), the team photo (large size), the home and away kits, the star player and the captain (both large size shiny stickers). Then in the following three pages the squad is shown with 18 autographed stickers of players. These pages include also player careers printed on the album. The last club page focuses on the team, with the stickers of the manager and three key players. the album includes only one extra section in the center of the album dedicated to new signings. Here we find 12 stickers over four pages, out of which 10 shiny stickers. The collection does not include extra stickers or updates.  

Back cover of the album 

Stickers of two fantastic strikers of the Premier League 2004/05: Thierry Henry (top scorer with 25 goals) and Didier Drogba

Chelsea dominated the Premier League 2004/2005. Lampard and Robben were key players together with Terry, who was awarded Player of the Year

Merlin's PL 2005 includes also manager's stickers. Here José Mourinho (Chelsea) and Sir Alex Ferguson (Manchester United)

Shiny club badge stickers of this album

Regular autographed sticker and action sticker of Cristiano Ronaldo from the Merlin's PL 2005 album

New signings of Manchester United and Newcastle for the season 2004/05: Rooney scored 11 goals in 29 games and Kluivert 6 goals in 26 games

Album details:
Full name: F.A. Premier League 05
Publisher: Merlin
League: English Premier League
Season: 2004/2005
Number clubs: 20
Stickers per club: 28
Other sections:
  • Introduction (2 stickers)
  • New Signings (12 stickers)
Updates or Extra: No
Hardcover: No
Checklist: click here

Total number of stickers: 574

mercoledì 14 ottobre 2020

Panini Calciatori 2020


The 2019/2020 Serie A started in August 2019 and ended almost one year later with the ninth consecutive title of Juventus (83 points). Second place for Inter (82 points) and third for Atalanta and Lazio (78 points). The top scorer of the season was Immobile (Lazio) with 36 goals. This was the longest football season ever contested in Italy due to the pandemic that stopped the competion from March to June 2020. The same happened for the sticker collection "Calciatori", which was released in December 2019 and it could be completed with the last stickers of the "Film del Campionato" only in September 2020. The album does not differ much from the latest editions. However it was still by far the best quality sticker album of the season, especially the hardcover edition of the album that we present here.
The album begins with an introductory page including the shining stickers of the Serie A logo and the trophies of the Serie A, Italian Cup and Super Cup. Then the 20 Serie A teams are shown in alphabetical order, from Atalanta to Udinese. Each club is displaced over four pages with a total of 28 stickers. In the first two pages the squad is presented with 22 player stickers and the shiny club badge sticker. In the following two pages there are the team photo (two stickers), the home kit sticker, the club bus (two stickers), and two players in action (one metallic sticker). Those pages include also all the player careers and a "Calciatoripedia" with facts and old stories about the club. 

After the Serie A clubs there is the usual section with the movie of the season ("Film del campionato"), including 28 stickers (C1-C28). The first five stickers could be found in regular packets, whereas the others were released in a sport newspaper along the season. 
The album continues with the section about the winter market ("Calciomercato"). Here there is space for 48 player stickers of the update set released in March 2020. In this section we find among the others  Ibrahimovic, Eriksen, Young and Moses.
Then the clubs of the Women's Serie A are shown with 12 team photo stickers over three pages ("Serie A Femminile").

The 2019/2020 Serie B was contested by 20 clubs. At the end of the season Benevento, Crotone and Spezia were promoted to the Serie A. For each club, the collection includes the stickers of the badge (half size shiny sticker), the team photo and 18 players (three players per sticker).

After the Serie B, all the managers of the Serie A and B are included with a total of 20 metallic stickers (two managers per sticker). Then there is a section about the Italian National team preparing Euro 2020. Here we find 15 metallic stickers of players in action (two players per sticker).
The album focuses then on the best players of the league. "Top Performers" shows the best 20 players of the Serie A (one per club) with shiny action stickers, whereas "Top 11" includes the top team of the Men and Women's Serie A with metallic stickers of players in action.
The album ends with the club badge stickers of the Serie C clubs (60 clubs divided in three groups) and the presentation of the Serie D with no stickers. 

Back cover of the album

The hardcover album Calciatori 2020

After the interruption due to the pandemic, Panini released a mini-set "Ripartiamo" (Let's start again), including an album of four pages and 20 stickers of players with symbolic Italian monuments. The set was made available on the Italian Panini website. This is not the only extra item of this collection, which includes also rubber erasers of club jerseys ("Gommaglie") sold separately and the packets "Calciatori Gol" that could be won with tickets inside regular packets. Each "Calciatori Gol" packet includes one sticker with a gold Serie A badge and one card with an Idol (a sort of mascot for each club).

"Ripartiamo": the extra set with mini-album and 20 stickers

The album and stickers from "Ripartiamo"

Lukaku and Chiellini stickers from the set "Ripartiamo"

The shiny club badge and the home kit stickers from this collection

Rookie stickers of rising stars: Sandro Tonali (moved to AC Milan at the end of the season) and Dejan Kulusevski (new Juventus signing)

Inter forward duo: Lautaro Martinez (14 goals) and Romelu Lukaku (23 goals). They scored together 37 goals for Inter in the 2020 Serie A.

Dybala played a major role in the Scudetto of Juventus, while Ciro Immobile scored 36 goals in the league (top goalscorer)

CR7's stickers from Calciatori 2020: the regular and the "top performer" stickers

Two stickers from the update set: Eriksen (Inter) and Ibrahimovic (Milan)

Album details:
Full name: Calciatori 2019-2020
Publisher: Panini
Release: December 2019
League: Italian (Serie A, Serie B, Serie C, Women's Serie A)
Season: 2019-2020
Hardcover album: Yes
Number of clubs and stickers per club:
  • Serie A (20 clubs, 28 stickers)
  • Serie B (20 clubs, 7.5 stickers)
  • Serie C (60 clubs, 0.25 stickers)
  • Women's Serie A (12 clubs, 1 sticker)
Other sections:
  • Introduction (4 stickers)
  • Il Film del Campionato (28 stickers)
  • Calciomercato (48 stickers)
  • I Mister (20 stickers)
  • Sogno Azzurro (15 stickers)
  • Top Performers (20 stickers)
  • Top 11 (11 stickers)
Update: Yes
  • "Ripartiamo" (Mini album + 20 stickers)
  • "Gommaglie" (20 rubber erasers)
  • Gold badges (20 stickers)
  • Card Idols (20 cards)
Checklist: click here

Total number of stickers: 903