NFT’s rival Panini pictures at the World Cup in Qatar | 03.12.22

The Football World Cup in Qatar has started. For many fans, a trip to the kiosk was always part of a World Cup in the past to fill the collector’s album with Panini photos of the various players as completely as possible. But the fan scene is changing, more and more shifting to the digital world. This is made possible by NFTs.

• Panini images are replaced with NFTs
• FIFA launches its own NFT platform “FIFA+ Collect”
• Cristiano Ronaldo launches NFT collection with Binance

Many football fans will be familiar with the self-adhesive Panini pictures and the accompanying collection booklets. And even today, there are still numerous fans who buy the stickers from their trusted retailers to fill the latest WC album as completely as possible. Nevertheless, the Modena company behind the Panini pictures has also noticed that the world of fans is changing, towards the digital universe.

NFTs spark fans’ passion for digital collecting

This shift is made possible by the creation of non-fungible tokens, or NFTs for short. They are non-fungible, digital deeds anchored on the blockchain and therefore immutable and transparently traceable. NFTs can be anything: whether pictures, videos or even digital jerseys, trophies – the variety is almost unlimited. Importantly, each non-fungible token is unique and authenticity is always guaranteed. However, an NFT can also be viewed, copied or even downloaded by others. However, the owner is only the person who has acquired the certificate of ownership, which can also be resold or exchanged.

It should come as no surprise that NFTs represent a lucrative source of revenue for companies, after all, in principle, an infinite number of digital assets can be created, which can then be paid for with “real” money. However, the initial hype surrounding digital tokens, which peaked in 2021, has now subsided significantly. Since NFTs are based on blockchain and cryptocurrencies, the prices of the collectibles are also subject to large fluctuations.

FIFA launches its own NFT platform “FIFA+ Collect”.

Nevertheless, NFTs have meanwhile taken a firm place in the sport. This is also being felt right now at the football World Cup in Qatar. FIFA recently launched its own NFT platform “FIFA+ Collect”. According to the press release, the platform enables fans to “own and collect World Cup moments”. However, the exchange does not only include excerpts from the current championship. Rather, the association has opened up its 92-year football history archive and is now allowing fans to buy digital collectibles from the men’s and women’s World Cups. New collectibles are now continuously available on the platform via so-called “drops”. Once these are sold out, they can only be purchased or exchanged via the digital marketplace.

“With this fantastic offer, FIFA makes collectibles accessible to all football fans and gives everyone the opportunity to be part of the World Cup. As with sports souvenirs and stickers, fans around the world have the opportunity on new platforms to get up close to their favorite players, the most beautiful moments and much more more at affordable prices, says FIFA commercial director Romy Gai in the press release.

Algorand blockchain as the basis of the NFTs

The blockchain technology behind the platform is provided by crypto firm Algorand, which claims to be “the world’s most powerful and sustainable blockchain,” according to its website. “That […] The FIFA Platform is the first visible product of the technical partnership recently announced by FIFA and Algorand. The bridge that FIFA is building with Algorand’s Web3 is a testament to their innovative spirit and desire to directly and seamlessly reach soccer fans around the world,” commented W. Sean Ford, Algorand’s Interim Managing Director of Partnerships with Fifa on the broadcast.

Cristiano Ronaldo is also jumping on the NFT train

But the World Football Association is not the only player taking advantage of the start of the World Cup in Qatar to launch an NFT platform. Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo also launched his own NFT collection shortly before the start of the World Cup in collaboration with crypto exchange Binance. The “CR7” collection includes seven digital statues of the world star, depicting special moments in Ronaldo’s football life. The rarity of NFTs is divided into four grades from “super super rare” to “normal”. In addition, the NFT launch includes the “CR7 Mystery Box”, which can only be purchased by new Binance users and also contains digital Ronaldo collectibles. However, the launch of the NFT collection is not a standalone event. More NFTs will follow next year. Overall, the collaboration between the crypto exchange and the football star has been designed for several years.


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Image source: archy13 /, Sergei Elagin /, Ohmega1982 /, lazyllama /

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