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World Cup A-Z: Sticker Albums

4 June 2014

World Cup sticker albums: you either love them or you're completely addicted to them.

Whatever your disposition to the meticulous art of peeling and sticking small pieces of paper into an assigned slot on a page, sticker albums are a massive part of World Cup fever.

They are also a great way to develop an irrational disliking for a particular player who seems to appear in every packet.

This year that honour looks like falling to Yaya Toure of Ivory Coast or Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo, who are both in the free six stickers that come with the album but are still all-too-frequently available in packets.

It's not just the likes of Toure and Ronaldo, though. There are plenty of Football League players to get your hands on, too - Wigan Athletic's Juan Carlos Garcia (Honduras), Gonzalo Jara of Nottingham Forest (Chile) and Charlton Athletic's Reza Goochannejhad (Iran) being some of the main draws.

Of course, for some players, it can be a horrible experience.

The albums are usually released in March/April, several weeks before the 32 World Cup nations announce their 23-man squad, and therefore some players who are in the album don't make the plane.

Within the England pages, Kyle Walker and Andros Towsend (injured) and Ashley Cole and Michael Carrick (not selected) are available as stickers, but weren't in Roy Hodgson's 23.

The first album was produced for Mexico 1970, yet it appears that the 12th edition in 2014 seems to have captivated children, and a worrying number of adults, like never before.

Media reports over the past few weeks have focused on the increase in 30 and 40-somethings nipping to their local shop to feed their sticker addiction.

Whether these individuals are bashfully hiding the packets within their newspaper, whipping them out at the last minute to pay and then sneakily exiting the story, or claiming 'they're for the kids', we don't know, but Panini-craze is sweeping the globe.

As a result, people's kitchen tables and desks look akin to the picture below.

This year there are 640 stickers, meaning that with the six free stickers and the ability to send off for the final 50, completing the album would cost you £63.40 without any swaps.

Click here to see the other letters in our World Cup A-Z

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