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In the land of Maradona and Messi, fans compete for World Cup stickers | Football news

BUENOS AIRES: In Argentina convenience stores, kids — and their parents — are caught up in a new craze: the hunt for World Cup stickers that have driven the already sports-crazed country insane, leaving many stores out of stock to sell.
In the birthplace of football legends Diego Maradona and Lionel MessiSigns in some store windows read “no more stickers or albums,” referring to the 2022 collectible sticker albums ahead of the Qatar tournament in November.
The trend has spawned a wave of memes and satire on social media, and even the creation of an app that lets you track where to get the coveted stickers. New stock sells out within hours.
“It’s frustrating that I can’t find one,” said Exequiel Claveriea 38-year-old media professional and father of three children who are fans of local club River Plate.


(Reuters photo)
“I come home every day to say (my kids) ‘Hey Dad, did you buy stickers?’ There are not any!”
Argentina, which won the Copa America last year, will travel to Qatar along with other Latin American countries Brazil, Uruguay, Ecuador, Mexico and Costa Rica.
Sticker manufacturer Panini from Italy says that many adults are also collecting stickers this year, increasing demand.
The suggested retail price for a pack of five stickers is 150 pesos (close to a dollar at the official rate), but the shortage has caused prices to double or triple in informal markets, including one in Buenos Aires’ Rivadavia Park.
Completing the 600 sticker album could cost an estimated 20,000 pesos, a hefty sum in a country with deep inflation and a severe economic crisis.
“The full cost of filling the album is a lot. In reality, though, you rarely have to buy it all yourself: grandma or aunt always gives you a present,” said Lucas Perrone39, a graphic designer, while sticking stickers in the book with his two children.

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