Of all the Panini World Cup albums, this one will always have a special place in my heart because it was the first one I ever collected as a child. Chances are I got my album as a free giveaway with Shoot! magazine (so many Panini albums were back then), after which the lure of the accompanying green sticker packets became too much for me to bear. So what was Panini’s Espana 82 sticker album like?
Dribbling across the mainland of host nation Spain like a giant, it’s pleasing to observe the English flag featuring among those of all the participating nations rather than the flag of Great Britain which was so often used in lazy fashion by graphic designers for years and years. Aside from the multitude of national identities, the logo and mascot of the 1982 World Cup flanked the left margin below the album’s title, proudly displayed in white on that vivid pine green background.
Page 2 and 3
Turn the front cover and the first thing you see is not the list of world nations translated into six languages or even the page of foils showing the trophy, mascot, logo and poster. Instead, you’re immediately distracted by an insert promoting a competition where you could win a wide range of sporting equipment from Lillywhites. All you had to do was predict the best four teams in the tournament, and a quick glance at my album shows I actually filled in my application form without entering it. Sadly my guesses of Argentina, Brazil, England and West Germany wasn’t ever going to win me anything, so it’s just as well I didn’t waste money on a stamp with that one.
Stadia and Posters
As it is, the posters were beautifully designed by a wide range of artists and each one had a distinctive look that undoubtedly added something to the album if not the competition as a whole. One of the posters has since taken on a special significance for me as in 2007 I visited the museum in Bilbao dedicated to the work of Eduardo Chillida, the Basque sculptor and artist. Having spent the day wandering around the beautiful gardens where much of of his work was on show, I visited the gift shop on my way out and there hanging on the wall was the poster I remembered from my Panini Espana 82 album - Chillida’s design representing Bilbao in the World Cup that year.
(What’s that? You don’t know what a Kikari Soccer Trainer is? Oh alright, if you must know, it’s a net that fits round a football on the end of a long piece of elastic so you don’t have to keep chasing after it all day every time you re-enact Terry McDermott hitting a 30-yard-volley. Satisfied now?)