mercoledì 15 giugno 2016

Supergol 2015-2016 - Israel

The album of the football league of Israel is published regularly every year by local companies (Panini owned and released this collection from 1999 to 2007). The edition 2015/2016 is published by P.M.I. and it is particularly complex to complete for several reasons. First, the collection is composed by almost 600 stickers. Second, the stickers are released in five different series (about one every month), each series including new stickers. Third, some stickers can be found only in food or other products to be purchased in supermarkets. Last but not least, there are some rare stickers; in this collection sticker number 496 was particularly difficult to find.
The collection is very rich and includes not only the first division, but also the national team and many special sections. On the minus side the album is stuffed with advertisement pages and it includes also advertisement stickers of iPhone, One Plus, and XBox One (10 silver stickers to compose a big picture for each advertisement for a total of 30 stickers).
The album opens from right to left and shows first the Israelian Premier League (Ligat Ha'al). There are 14 teams each displayed over three pages with a total of 21 stickers: the club logo, the team photo (2 shining stickers), and 18 players.

 Maccabi Tel Aviv

To celebrate the participation of Maccabi Tel Aviv in the Champions League 2015/2016 there are 18 stickers of players in action.

 Hapoel Kyriat Shmona

 Beitar Jerusalem

The captain series is composed by 14 stickers of the captains (one per club) with some shining stickers.

 Maccabi Haifa

 Hapoel Kfar Saba

The second league (Liga Leumit) is represented with 18 stickers of star players.

Then the album continues with stickers of a famous football cartoon in Israel: Super Strika. There are 49 stickers on six pages, among them 18 silver shining stickers.

The collection covers also the National team. First the Man team with 18 stickers on two pages (17 players and the coach). Then the Israel Under-21 selection with the same amount of stickers.

"Supergol action" is a section with 18 action stickers of some of the most remarkable players of the league.

The Women National Team is also included with 17 stickers of players in portrait and 18 stickers of players in action.

"Signatures" is a section with 18 silver shining stickers with signatures of the player.

"Hall of fame" includes 18 old stickers appeared in previous collections, whereas the following "All-time stars" includes 18 stickers of old Israelian stars.

The last section is "Emoji Goal", with 18 stickers of caricatures of famous International players: here we find Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Ozil, Ibrahimovic, Ribery, and many more (not always easy to recognize).

Young prospects included (1995 or younger)
Liga Ha'al: Predrag Rajkovic (1995, Maccabi Tel Aviv), Azuchuko Ugo and Eden Shamir (1995, Hapoel Kiryat Shmona), Amit Bitton (1996, Hapoel Be'er Sheva), Avishay Cohen (1995, Beitar Jerusalem), Dor Hugy (1995, Maccabi Petah Tikva), Amir Khalaila and Mohammed Badrana (1997 and 1995, Bnei Sakhnin), Ramzi Safuri, Abu Alhija (1995, Hapoel Tel Aviv), Or Elioz and Sagi Dror (1996 and 1995, Hapoel Ra'anana), Shon Weissman (1996, Hapoel Acre), Sean Goldberg, Dolev Haziza, and Yosef Raz Meir (1995, 1995, and 1996, Bnei Yehuda), Mavis Tchibota (1996, Hapoel Kfar Saba)
Liga Leumit: Michael Ohana (1995, Ashdod)

Album details
Full name: Supergol 2015-16
Publisher: P.M.I
League: Israelian League
Number of teams: 14
Stickers per team: 21
Special sections: -Advertisement (30 stickers)
                            -Maccabi Tel Aviv Champions L. (18 stickers)
                            -Captain Series (14 stickers)
                            -Liga Leumit Stars (18 stickers)
                            -Supa Strika (49 stickers)
                            -Men National Team (18 stickers)
                            -U-21 National Team (18 stickers)
                            -National Team action stickers (36 stickers)
                            -Signature stickers (18 stickers)
                            -Hall of Fame (18 stickers)
                            -All-time stars (18 stickers)
                            -Emoji Goal (18 stickers)

Total number of stickers: 576 

Useful links: Collection review (Cardzreview)
 Checklist (FCIE)

Personal Note: I would like to thank my friend Felix from Israel to help me finding all the stickers of this collection very hard to complete, but very precious!

mercoledì 8 giugno 2016

Topps Champions League 2016 (Hardcover album)

The season 2015/2016 marks a big change in the sticker industry due to the Champions League rights acquisition for three season by Topps. The rival of Panini could in this way publish one of the most expected collections of the season, while Panini launched the new FIFA 365 collection around the world to conquer the market. Topps released a sticker album of the Champions league that was not at the level of the previous Panini albums, but that includes for the first time (at least in Germany and UK) an hardcover version of the album.
The collection starts with the contents and the first four (shining) stickers: The Champions League logo (2 stickers) and trophy (two stickers). Then we go immediately deep into the teams divided by groups. Each group section starts with two pages introducing the four teams. Here each team has three stickers: the home kit, the away kit, and the star player (shining sticker for the best two teams of each group). Then each team is displaced over two pages with a total of 15 stickers: the club logo (shining sticker), 12 player portraits (one out of which is shining), and 4 half sticker players. There is an exception for the Italian teams (and this is the first mistery of this album), which do not have the four small size players, but instead three normal size players.

Group A: PSG, Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk, Malmoe

 The Champions League winner Real Madrid

Group B: PSV, Manchester Utd, CSKA Moskva, Wolfsburg

Group C: Benfica, Atletico Madrid, Galatasaray, Astana

Atletico Madrid reached the final of the Champions League

Group D: Juventus, Manchester City, Sevilla, Borussia M.

Group E: Barcelona, Bayer Leverkusen, Roma, Bate Borisov

Group F: Bayern Munchen, Arsenal, Olympiacos, Dinamo Zagreb

Group G: Chelsea, Porto, Dinamo Kyiv, Maccabi Tel-Aviv

Group H: Zenit, Gent, Valencia, Olympique Lyonnais

A second mistery of this collection is that no players of Olympique Lyonnais are included. There are only three stickers in the group introduction (home kit, away kit, shining club badge).
The last part of the album includes some special sections. First the calendar of the competition with four stickers dedicated to the final in Milan: the logo (2 stickers) and the stadium of San Siro (two stickers). Then "Players to watch" with 15 stickers (4 shining) of interesting players of the competition. The choice of these players is rather questionable, as they are not all top players.

The section dedicated to the Finals includes 24 stickers on four players with posters of the Champions League finals since 1993. These are quite boring stickers, in which only the background changes.

"Winners" focuses on the last three Champions Leagues, with celebration stickers of winners Barcelona (2 stickers), Real Madrid (2 stickers) and Bayern Munchen (1 sticker).
"Most Goals" dedicates four shining stickers to the all time Top Scorers of the Champions League: Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, both with 77 goals.

Last two pages of the album are dedicated to two related competitions, the Women's Champions League (1 sticker) and the Uefa Youth League (1 sticker).

Album details
Full name: Uefa Champions League Season 2015/16
Publisher: Topps
Hardcover album: Yes (Germany and UK)
Competition: Champions League
Number of teams: 24
Stickers per teams: 18 (except Juventus and Roma with 19 stickers and Lyon with only 3 stickers)
Special sections: -Introduction (4 stickers)
                           -Final Milano 2016 (4 stickers)
                           -Finals (24 stickers)
                           -Winners (5 stickers)
                           -Most Goals (4 stickers)
                           -Women's Champions League (1 sticker)
                           -Youth League (1 sticker)

Total number of sticker: 619