Topps & Panini Soccer Rookie Cards to Look For

Topps & Panini Soccer Rookie Cards to Look For

In the world of soccer trading card collecting, rookie cards are a representation of the beginning of a soccer player’s career and can often become highly sought after collectibles over time depending on their success. Believe it or not, many collectors who are just starting out may not know what’s considered a true rookie card. A vast majority of collectors claim that a rookie card is the card depicting where the player appeared the first time in their career, regardless of the brand. However, the official definition of a legitimate rookie card is the first licensed issue from a major manufacturer like Topps or Panini that is widely distributed. The 2023-24 season has revealed some promising young talents that show immense potential for becoming future household names like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. As young players begin their careers, their rookie cards are produced in limited quantities compared to established players, making them more valuable to collectors. Let’s take a look at a few of these wonderkids, aged 21 and under, who are set to flourish in the world of soccer so you can be on the hunt for their rookies and invest in the future value of your collection!


  1. Nico Paz

A talented young soccer player who’s following in his legendary father’s footsteps is 19-year-old Nico Paz. Paz is becoming known for his versatility and technical skills. He primarily plays as midfielder and has already caught the attention of scouts and fans with his performances at the youth level. He’s seen as Paraguay’s most promising young talent and is often compared with established stars, including his father, Pablo Paz. After joining Real Madrid at the young age of 12, Nico was called up to the senior Argentina squad, just months before the country won the World Cup, when he turned 18. Now he’s on track to surpass even his father’s achievements after making his debut for Real Madrid in the Champions League. At such a young age, Paz has already demonstrated a remarkable talent for the beautiful game, earning praise from coaches, teammates, and his growing fan base. He’s on track to become very successful and his rookie cards could become sought after collectibles among enthusiasts eager to own a piece of soccer history.


  1. Lamine Yamal

Another wonderkid who shows potential for legendary status is Barcelona’s Lamine Yamal. Yamal is considered a hidden gem who has emerged as one of the brightest players from the revered La Masia youth academy and stands out for his daring dribbling. Praised by his coach Xavi as a player with the potential to ‘define an era’, the young rising star has passed every test with flying colours since making his senior debut at just 15 years old. In fact, Yamal managed to race through the age categories quicker than any other player of his generation. While it’s too soon to compare the now 16-year-old Yamal to the legendary Lionel Messi, who also graduated from La Masia academy, the extremely skilled and promising Spanish winger is on his way to establishing a successful Barcelona career.


  1. Fermín López

Fermín López from Spain is another promising young soccer player to look out for. This 21-year-old rising star is known for his versatility, technical ability, and goal-scoring prowess. He plays as a midfielder for Barcelona and the Spain national team.  In 2022, Barça loaned him out to Linares Deportivo in Primera Federación so that he could gain playing time and experience. This experience led to Fermín becoming the top scorer for the team during that time. Due to his success leading a team, he returned to Barcelona for the 2023-24 season and was chosen by Xavi Hernández to go on the US pre-season tour with the first team. After being named in several of Xavi's squads, he was registered as a first team player in 2024. Given his talent and promise of future success, collectors may view Fermín López as a player whose rookie cards could hold potential value.



  1. Jobe Bellingham

Another player whose last name needs no introduction is 18-year-old wonderkid Jobe Bellingham, brother of Real Madrid’s Jude Bellingham. Jobe has emerged as a promising prospect in the world of soccer. He’s an English professional soccer player who plays as a midfielder or forward for Sunderland in the EFL Championship. He completed a move to Sunderland AFC from Birmingham City in the summer of 2023, becoming a regular starter in the Championship before turning 18. Former Sunderland manager, Tony Mowbray, identified "his greatest asset is that he wants to learn," and Bellingham has even gone on to be featured in England’s Under-18s list for his remarkable talent. He’s recently gained a ton of interest from other clubs in the Premier League, and Sunderland is determined not to lose him, viewing him as a crucial part of the squad. Tottenham, Brentford, Crystal Palace, and several other clubs in Europe are all showing interest in the emerging star. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for Jobe Bellingham and expect his rookie cards to increase in value over time.


  1. Benjamin Cremaschi

Finally, another exciting prospect for the future of soccer is 19-year-old Benjamin Cremaschi. He’s an American professional soccer player who plays as a midfielder for Inter Miami in MLS and the United States national team. Cremaschi graduated from Inter Miami's academy before earning his shot in the first team alongside childhood idol Lionel Messi. He’s recognized for his versatility and has gained a lot of attention for his performances at youth level. Cremaschi received call-ups to the U.S. and Argentine national teams and jumped right into the deep end joining MLS, embracing the challenge of playing in multiple areas of midfield.  If he continues to develop and achieves success at higher levels of competition, his rookie cards could become sought after among fans and collectors. With Messi as his mentor, Benjamin Cremaschi is expected to have a thrilling and successful career in soccer!


In conclusion, the value of rookie cards are determined by rarity, performance, potential, market demand, and global recognition. As the next generation of talent continues to emerge, collectors have the opportunity to collect rookie cards of players who show immense promise for future value appreciation. By keeping an eye on these wonderkids, enthusiasts can set themselves up to secure valuable cards and own a representation of soccer history! Be sure to check out our wide selection of trading cards and stickers at and be on the hunt for some of these rising stars!


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