Book Revew Non-fiction Sport

2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ Panini Trading Cards and Album & MATCH World Cup Diary 2018 – Soccer

I recently reviewed 2 Guides to this year’s FIFA World Cup soccer tournament and some Panini products, at this post here and I am now adding more information about the Panini 2018 FIFA Adrenalyn XL trading cards to this post.

I recently reviewed 2 Guides to this year’s FIFA World Cup soccer tournament and some Panini products, at this post here and I am now adding more information about the Panini 2018 FIFA Adrenalyn XL trading cards to this post.  As well, I will review the MATCH World Cup Diary in this current post.

The first thing to say is NOT to confuse the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia (soccer) Panini Adrenalyn XL trading cards with the Panini Adrenalyn XL 365 Trading Cards.

Both these card collections are related to FIFA which of course means the “Fédération Internationale de Football Association” which is the international federation governing association football (to distinguish it from “union football”, i.e. rugby, and from other types of football).

The 365 soccer cards relate to the top clubs, teams and players around the world, while the World Cup collection of course refers to the World Cup soccer, which occurs every 4 years. There’s a YouTube video showing the 365 starter pack for 2018 at the link below, if you are interested in this series.

By the way, if you want to know how “soccer” (which I love) is different to “other Football” go to the link below.

Well, I was lucky enough to buy an Australian 2018 FIFA World Cup, Panini Adrenalyn XL & XXL Mega Starter Pack (try saying that when you’ve had a few) from a super eBay Seller “on-trend” from whom, by the way, I had purchased the Official Tournament Magazine from!

You can visit the On Trends’ store by

clicking on the following link.

Like me, you may have found it difficult to find some products for this year’s FIFA World Cup soccer tournament.  Yes, I have looked in every newsagency that I could get to and found not what I wanted, and have turned toward On Trend’s online store for things that I want. You can read my review of the official FIFA World Cup tournament magazine at this post here and you will find this hard to find Tournament magazine for sale by On Trend, so head over there now to snap one up.


PANIN ADRENALYN XL Mega Starter Pack contents

Well, my eyes lit up like Christmas when I saw the one XXL card in my pack was for star Australian soccer player, Tim Cahill, and I scooped it up with glee and astonishment.

PANINI ADRENALYN XXL Limited Edition card Tim Cahill

You can see how big the extra extra large card is – this series is twice the size of the regular Panini Adrenalyn XL cards in terms of 2 standard cards (i.e. 2 XL cards) can be laid sideways across one XXL card.

Size comparison of Panini XL and XXL cards

This Mega great starter pack came with SIX yes 6 beautiful Limited Edition cards, 3 for Australian players and 3 for non-Australian players!


Imagine my happy face when I found Tim Cahill among my XL standard sized cards and 2 other beautiful cards OTHER than a card for Tom Rogic  …… because I already have a LE card for Tom Rogic so I now had 3 new LE cards plus 1 unique card that I owned already, totalling 4 lovely XL Limited Edition FIFA 2018 Australian player cards!

I have a friend whom has a LE card for Trent Sainsbury, another Australian player, and who will remain my friend only once she hands over that card so I can add it to my collection (just kidding of course).  I will then have 5 FIFA World Cup Russia, Panini Adrenalyn XL Limited Edition cards from a total of 9 for Australian players.

I emailed Panini to ask them how I can buy Limited Edition cards for the FIFA World Cup 2018 Adrenalyn XL series, because they are NOT available through their online store, and they replied that I have to buy multi-packs of the cards (if I can find them) or Starter packs!!  Of course I don’t need more than one binder / album to put my cards in, so that means looking out for multi-packs —   I may be heading over to On Trend for a Value pack !!

My pack came with 5 packs of assorted cards, i.e. a total of 30 cards because each pack contains 6 cards

PANIN ADRENALYN XL FIFA mega pack contents

These cards can include SPECIAL CARDS and ever the person who likes details and loves data and information (noting that I have 4 planets in Virgo if you are interested in Western Astrology) I dutifully wrote out the types or categories of Special Cards and the card formats (which I took from the Guide that came in my pack, and of which the formats are not in either the online or hard copy Check-lists).   The number in brackets denotes how many of this Card type or category.

Fan Favourites (40)  metallic card

Power 4 (5)  holographic card

Goal stoppers (9)  holographic card

Rising Stars (18)  holographic card

Double Trouble (9)  metallic with gold print

Icons (3)  metallic with gold print

Game Changer (18)  metallic with gold print

Top Master (5)  metallic with rainbow effect and relief

Invincible (1)   metallic with rainbow effect and relief

In addition to the Special cards above, there are 360 plain Team Mates cards featuring, of course, the players from the various country teams!

The Limited Edition cards are holographic with striped effects and gold print, and are gorgeous !!

The Mega XL / XXL starter pack includes a nice binder or album to put your cards into and a handy Guide to your cards, a page of which is shown below.  These pages feature a selection of cards for all categories, providing names of the top 3 players for each card category, based upon total points – the points being the number in black at the bottom of each card.  See my other post for an explanation of the numbers on the cards.



The album / binder has 30 pages with 9 pockets each and you can put your numbered cards in each page until you’ve filled all 30 pages, then you go back and put the remaining cards from Card number 271 ( as 30 x 9 = 270 ) into the same pockets but facing the other way.  In other words you need to have 2 cards in most pockets as there is a total of 468 cards in the Panini Adrenalyn XL trading card base series for the 2018 World Cup soccer (not including the Limited Edition cards)!


Below is what the Guide that comes with the Starter packs looks like.


There is a handy Match Schedule in the Guide with boxes which you can write the scores in.  It includes the dates of the matches and is super great for a glance at the schedule.


The Guide also has a complete card checklist (not including the Limited Edition cards)  on which you can tick of the cards you have collected.  This Check-list can be downloaded or saved as a PDF file from the web page below.

As far as I can work out, there are XXL Limited Edition cards for all 9 Australian players featured in the standard XL Limited Edition cards.

The link below lists LE cards for other country teams, e.g. if you type Brazil into the search field, there are 5 cards.  I’m not sure, at the time of writing this how the amounts of Limited Edition cards for each country are worked out, or how the players for them are chosen.  CardzReview lists the Limited Edition cards available in mid / late February 2018.

A Check-list Poster also comes with the FIFA World Cup Russia Panini Trading Cards Mega Starter Pack as well as the Guide to the base series of cards ( i.e. not including the Limited Edition cards).  I believe that the standard Starter Pack may come without the Poster but you would have to check that out for your country or see what is available online.

The Poster is 2 feet tall by 1 foot wide (or 24 inches x 12 inches) and is double-sided.  It lists the cards for every country in the 2018 World Cup so at a glance one can see that there are 18 cards for teams like Argentina, Brazil, England, France and Germany; and 9 cards for Australia.  The reverse of the poster also lists the Special Cards by categories and by pictures.  Altogether a nice visual representation of the whole collection, however as it is double-sided it may not be wise to stick it on a wall.


I noted that this Mega starter pack does not include a Game board, which you can view at the U.K. site below.  The Guide has instructions for playing a soccer game using your cards, saying that a hard-copy Game Board can be used (but doesn’t have to be used).  Some other Australian starter packs may include the game board, I am not sure.


MATCH World Cup Diary 2018 – Soccer

While my partner will be using the 1 page Match Guide in the Guide to the trading cards to record match results in, I will be using my MATCH Diary !  I bought it online  here .


This wonderful diary, about 8 inches by 10 inches, has an excellent lay-out of Groups and Fixtures.




This is followed by a 2 page spread for recording results.



As you may know, there are 8 groups of 4 country teams each.  Here’s when a little mathematics (or common sense) creeps in.  Australia is in Group C with France, Peru and Denmark.  Therefore Australia will play against these other 3 teams and thus play 3 matches or games in their group!

The page above therefore is for the first game that Australia plays (if I am recording results primarily for Australia) which will be against France on June 16th.  There are similar pages in my diary for Game 2 and Game 3, which will be the games against Denmark on June 21 and against Peru on June 26.   Games 2 and 3 also have a Results & Tables page each.

The score-sheet, shown below, will be gradually filled in or completed. For example, before Australia plays on the 16th June, 4 teams (2 each from Group A and B) will be playing on June 14th and 15th.

Therefore I will dutifully fill in the data for those teams, using pencil, after the said matches have been played.  I think that W means win, D means a Draw and L means a Loss, GF means Goals For, GA means Goals Against, and P means matches played.  As far as I know a win is usually worth 3 points, a draw is worth 1 point and a loss is worth no points.


So imagine if you will, on June 14, I will pencil in a 1 for either a Win or a Draw or a Loss for each of RUSSIA and SAUDIA ARABIA for the game of Russia against Saudia Arabia, who are the first teams that will be playing.  They are in Group A and that leaves Uruguay and Egypt, and at the end of the  next day (June 15th) I will be pencilling in a 1 for either a Win / Draw / Loss result for each of EGYPT and URUGUAY for the game of Egypt versus Uruguay who play on June 15th.  Mind you, my recording may be done the day after each match because of the time difference.  I am in GMT +8 i.e. 5 hours ahead of Moscow.

Thus, at the close of game day June 15th, I would have pencilled in results for all 4 teams in Group A, but here’s why I will have used a pencil — of course these 4 teams will still have games to play, so of course I will have to adjust their results, e.g. change Russia’s WINS from 1 to 2 – hypothetically and imaginatively speaking.   OF COURSE, it might be easier just to wait until all 4 teams have finished playing their 3 Group games, to record the results in the “Results & Tables” !!

The last match or game to be played before the Round of 16 will be Senegal versus Columbia from Group H on June 28 according to the Fixtures in my Diary, so I won’t be completing the Results & Tables until after that game.

I recommend start filling in at least one of the 3 Results & Tables pages (ignoring the Game 1 or Game 2 or Game 3 prefix if you like, which has caused me some angst because I think that you don’t need 3 of the same score-sheets to fill in – unless you want to start a fresh or new Results & Tables page each time your favourite team plays against another side, which to me, doesn’t really make sense, and I won’t be doing that because that entails more work or effort filling in things all over again).

There’s a page for the Round of 16 results with spaces to record 7 results.  If you go to my post reviewing the SBS Guide you will find an image showing how the Round of 16 Games are worked out.   Click  here  please to go that post.  I think there will be 8 games in the Round of 16 though the Diary provides space just for 7 games!

MATCH FIFA WORLD CUP DIARY Round of 16 results

The Round of 16 also called the Knock-out phase, starts on 30 June 2018, and all the dates for these exciting matches starting with the Round of 16 can be found at this page  here  of the official FIFA 2018 website.

Also in the Diary there are Team Line-up Pages for the Quarter Final matches and for the Semi-finals matches and for the 3rd place and the Final.

This Diary is great for kids, I think, and includes stickers of soccer balls for a match rating, and even stickers of yellow cards and red cards to allocate to each team on your “My Team” Line-ups Pages!


The flag stickers are for the Group and Fixtures page.


I like collecting trading cards, and have “The Road to Brazil” Panini sticker album and stickers (and haven’t even finished putting all the stickers in), and this year I have discovered the Panini Adrenalyn XL trading cards for the 2018 World Cup soccer, which I like alot.  So far I have about 60 team mate cards and about 10 special cards and a few Limited Edition cards including my wonderful XXL LE card of Tim Cahill, thanks to the OnTrend store!  I would love to complete my Panini Adrenalyn XL collection of Limited Edition cards for Australian players of the World Cup (but at not more than $5 AUD per card, e.g. I am not going to spend $11 per card – which some eBay sellers are asking for, so there).  Thank you for reading this post and please share this post.


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