I knew Panini tried to commercialize football trading cards a few years ago. But I thought they left it aside since the sticker are the thing around here.
It seems they keep trying and edit trading cards for the national football first league and there are people that buy it.
So I bought 15 packs (5 one time, 10 the next time) of Mega Craques 2013 - Liga Portuguêsa.
Nice looking pack.
Even better because there are two players from my team.
On the back it states that every pack brings 6 cards. Being the entire collection 180 cards.
I checked the Panini Portugal site looking for a checklist but forget it.
We still live so far away from the Panini America standards.
But at least I found out there are a kind-of-base-set plus two kind-of-insert-sets.
From the 180 cards 27 cards are what they call it “Made in Portugal” player cards and 9 cards out of the 180 cards are “Muito Obrigado” (b.n.: "Thank you") players cards.
So lets see what did I get.
I know probably the majority of foreign people that read this blog will not recognize the majority of the players nor the teams.
Exception made for the most well known Portuguese players or some worldwide well known football teams.
But bare with me.
There are colourful cards in here!
Not bad for a first pack.
If there is at least one Benfica's player in the pack it is a good pack.
See!? One thing you must learn is that S.L.Benfica is the best Portuguese football team.
Here is Salvio to highlight. He played for SLB a couple of years ago by loan. After that played for Atlético de Madrid. This season we bought him from them.
As you can see the card front has a nice design. What I like the most from the sticker to the trading cards is that in the stickers you can only see the players face.
Usually you don't see a full body player photo on a sticker. And I like to see the teams uniforms.
Here is one of the variations. Being the first uniform the red t-shirt and white shorts.
The card back states the player full name and some vital info.
Nice touch with the last three seasons info. For field players that is ok. But for Goalkeepers having on column for goals (column with 'G.') is useless.
Again nice touch for the trivia. Shame is that Panini simply does not care about Portugal and keep writing in some 'Portunhol' or 'Espanholês'.
Some words are wrongly spelled, and some are simply written in Spanish.
That is *no* cool!
In the end they add a gaming touch. Really, I'd pass that in change for more seasons stats or the trivia well written.
No Benfica player? Don't care.
To make up for the last two packs without any Benfica player this have two players!
Matic is replacing Javi Garcia as Defense Midfielder.
André Almeida is a rookie having the first season at the main team.
Look! Isn't it beautiful?
In all home games we have an eagle flying from the stadium roof top, descending to the field to land on top of the logo.
Try to do that with other animals!?
The back of the card is a team photo. Nice!
Shame this photo was taken from a game without one of our best strikers: Cardozo.
I highlight Fábio Coentrão too not because he is playing for Real Madrid.
I don't like Madrid.
I like Barcelona.
But the thing is that Fábio were one of the best left defenders that played for Benfica in the last years.
And the card back shows that he played for us.
This is also one of those 'Made In Portugal' cards.
It's a shame that most national players play in foreign championships.
Since Coentrão went to Madrid he did not play like he did here SLB. That is a curse!
Next pack I get Luisinho who is exactly one of the two new left defenders we got for this season.
Yep. That is Cristiano Ronaldo.
Too much of a Prima Donna. If he stayed with the head in the shoulders he would be probably even better.
But there is only one Messi in every generation.
Remember Jeffren from Barcelona?
He actually played for the main team but never had a chance. A bit like Borjan. He moved to Sporting but was tormented by injuries and Sporting is undergoing some turbulent times.
Garay is the best central defender we have in a couple of years. I know Luisão is like a 'boss' in the defense, but Garay is an Ace.
Maxi Pereira is our right defender and is best known as 'Super Maxi' - pun from an ice cream name.
Nani is probably the second best known Portuguese player. Nowadays. Or I had to mention Eusébio and Figo.
Hugo Almeida is a striker that sometimes seems more like a lamppost someone left in the middle of the area.
But his card is quite cool because we get a photo of him celebrating a goal.
David Simão is a Benfica player on loan to Marítimo. I'd like to have him back to see what he can do with the 'Eagles' uniform.
What I was truly hoping for was the goalies having flying photos. But got no lucky.
The rest is ok. No spectacular photos but they are in action at least.
The most important teams (4 out of 16) have more cards than the middle and bottom of the table teams. I can accept that. But perhaps because my team is one of the main 4.
Will se if I invest and try to get all the 180 cards.