Top 2014 FIFA World Cup Players to Collect

Top 2014 FIFA World Cup Players to Collect

The FIFA World Cup is a terrific chance for fans to witness quality soccer on a global scale. Understandably, this exclusive tournament generally features some of the top players in the world. While all 32 teams include some elite players, several teams and names stick out for collectors.

With a heavy percentage of low-end regional products and an even more ambiguous view of "rookie cards," soccer still lags other sports in terms of card collecting variety. Releases like 2013-14 Topps Premier Gold and 2014 Panini Prizm World Cup have helped the sport make up ground and more premium products are likely in the pipeline based on these successes.

The following list identifies top collecting options from some of the best teams in the 2014 FIFA World Cup. One player is highlighted for each team, but in some instances, several players may have a legitimate claim for the top spot. To help collectors, a few of the most popular cards are referenced for one main player from each team.

When available, the first cards shown for each player are the earliest known options for each player, but since rookie cards are still not a strong concept in soccer collecting, various cards from different years may also claim that title. Feel free to let us know of any earlier cards. The remaining cards listed are notable releases for each player. Some players just do not have many cards to pick from other than stickers.

Collectors looking for a simple starting point should check out 2014 Panini World Cup Stickers.

Top 2014 World Cup Players to Collect

Click on the player names to shop for cards on eBay.

Brazil

The player that many expect to take that next step on the road to superstardom, Neymar has an ideal chance to make a big impression as the star player for the host team. Still young, when he is not playing for Brazil, Neymar plays for soccer powerhouse, Barcelona. In addition to Neymar, Thiago Silva is another player to keep an eye on.

Top Neymar Cards

2014 Panini Prizm World Cup Autographs Neymar Jr 213x300 Image

  • 2009-10 Abril Gol Futebol #153, #155
  • 2014 Panini Prizm World Cup Signatures #S-NE

Spain

Spain is one of the favorites to hoist the 2014 FIFA World Cup trophy, and that starts with Andrés Iniesta. The Spanish midfielder also plays for Barcelona and helped Spain claim the 2010 World Cup Trophy. Spain is one of the deepest teams in the world, boasting other top names like David Villa, Xavi, and Cesc Fabregas.

Top Andrés Iniesta Cards

2014 Panini Prizm World Cup Stars Gold Andres Iniesta  213x300 Image

  • 2002-03 Mundicromo #666
  • 2002-03 Panini Superliga #392

Germany

Another incredibly deep team, Germany is also a favorite for the 2014 World Cup. High profile names like Miroslav Klose, Mesut Özil, Philipp Lahm and Thomas Müller, make for a formidable lineup, but Bastian Schweinsteiger might be the very best of the bunch if he can remain healthy.

Top Bastian Schweinsteiger Cards

2013 14 Topps Bundesliga Jersey Bastian Schweinsteiger Image

  • 2013-14 Topps Bundesliga Chrome Jersey

Portugal

Portugal begins and ends with Cristiano Ronaldo. The prolific scorer has not enjoyed much success with the Portuguese National Team, but the team looks strong heading into the World Cup. View a list of other top Cristiano Ronaldo cards here.

Top Cristiano Ronaldo Cards

2013 14 Topps Premier Gold International Icons Autographs Cristiano Ronaldo  Image

  • 2002-03 Panini Mega Craques #137
  • 2013-14 Topps Premier Gold International Icons Autograph #SP-CR
  • 2014 Panini Prizm World Cup Signatures #S-CR

Argentina

Like Portugal, one name stands clearly atop the Argentinian roster. However, Lionel Messi is not the only top player to be found from Argentina. Sergio Aguero is another elite option at forward for the  squad. View a complete look at Lionel Messi rookie cards here.

Top Lionel Messi Cards

2014 Panini Prizm World Cup Autographs Lionel Messi 211x300 Image

  • 2004-05 Panini Mega Cracks #71
  • 2014 Panini Prizm World Cup Signatures #S-LME

Uruguay

Love him or hate him, Luis Suarez can put the ball in the net. When he is not filling the stat sheet for Liverpool, Suarez is paired with Edinson Cavani on the Uruguayan National Team.

Top Luis Suarez Cards

2014 Panini Prizm World Cup Autographs Luis Suarez 215x300 Image

  • 2006-07 Magic Box International All-Stars
  • 2014 Panini Prizm World Cup Signatures #S-NE

Italy

Generally fielding a strong team, Italy has a storied past and the talent to make a big move at the World Cup. Andrea Pirlo anchors the Italian midfield and is joined by other star players, including Francesco Totti, Mario Balotelli and goalkeeper, Gianluigi Buffon.

Top Andrea Pirlo Cards

2014 Panini Prizm World Cup Autographs Andrea Pirlo 212x300 Image

  • 1997-98 Panini Calciatori #80
  • 2014 Panini Prizm World Cup Signatures #S-AP

England

Always under pressure to return to their former place at the top of the soccer world, England is not expected to make much noise at the 2014 World Cup. Wayne Rooney remains the top scoring threat, and is joined by other English stars, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard.

Top Wayne Rooney Cards

2004 eTopps Wayne Rooney 211x300 Image

  • 2002-03 Topps Premier Gold #E3
  • 2004 eTopps #15 #/2055

France

Dominant at the end of the 1990s and early 2000s, France hopes to rebound from a disappointing 2010 World Cup. The team relies heavily on Bayern Munich forward, Franck Ribéry, who is one of the top players in the world.

Top Franck Ribéry Cards

2014 Panini Prizm World Cup Stars Green Franck Ribery 214x300 Image

  • 2005-06 Panini WCCF #109

Ivory Coast

Still new to the World Cup scene, Ivory Coast made their first appearance in 2006 and have returned in each tournament since then. Although the team is not filled with many recognizable names, Didier Drogba and Yaya Touré provide the star power. Drogba has seemingly lost a step from his days at Chelsea, but the team will need a huge performance from him and the Touré brothers to make it out of the first round.

Top Didier Drogba Cards

2014 Panini Prizm World Cup Autographs Didier Drogba 212x300 Image

  • 2002-03 Panini Foot Championnat de France
  • 2014 Panini Prizm World Cup Signatures #S-AP

Netherlands

For many years, the Netherlands have shown tremendous potential, only to come up short in the end. The team made it all the way to the 2010 World Cup finals, but lost a tight match to Spain. The team will hope to carry on their winning ways from qualification, with Robin van Persie leading the way. Other top players include Arjen Robben and Rafael van der Vaart.

Top Robin van Persie Cards

2013 Topps Allen and Ginter Autographs Robin van Persie 210x300 Image

  • 2003-04 Magic Box International All-Stars
  • 2013 Topps Allen & Ginter Autographs #AGA-RVP
  • 2014 Panini Prizm World Cup Signatures #S-RVP

United States

The United States still lags behind many of the world powers in soccer. The team has steadily improved and consistently appears in the World Cup, but has yet to prove they can regularly win against the best. A tough group, including Germany and Portugal, has many expecting an early exit. However, the talent is there for a deep run. Clint Dempsey looks to be the top threat, and he is joined by Michael Bradley and Tim Howard.

Top Clint Dempsey Cards

2014 Topps MLS Maestros Autographs Clint Dempsey 213x300 Image

  • 2005 Upper Deck MLS #64
  • 2012 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions Autographs #A-CD
  • 2014 Panini Prizm World Cup Signatures #S-CD
  • 2014 Topps MLS Maestros Autographs #MA-CD

Colombia

Columbia tends to be an overlooked team, and that is furthered by their World Cup absence since 1998. However, they are on a roll and could be one of the biggest surprises of the tournament. Radamel Falcao is their main scoring option, and will need to be healthy for Columbia to push through the tournament.

Top Radamel Falcao Cards

2014 Panini Prizm World Cup Autographs Radamel Falcao 210x300 Image

  • 2006-07 Panini WCCF #29
  • 2014 Panini Prizm World Cup Signatures #S-FA

Mexico

To say that things have not gone well for Mexico recently is an understatement. The team struggled to qualify for the tournament and limps into the 2014 World Cup with few expectations. Like the Mexican team, star player Javier Hernandez, or Chicharito, as most know him, has not blossomed with Manchester United as anticipated. Nevertheless, the team will need strong showings from him and Oribe Peralta to have any chance in Brazil.

Top Javier Hernanadez Cards

2014 Panini Prizm World Cup Net Finders Javier Hernandez Image

  • 2009-10 Imagics Liga Mexicana Guadalajara #48, #49

Belgium

Another dark horse candidate, Belgium returns to the world stage with young talent. When he is not playing for Chelsea, Eden Hazard represents the top option for Belgium and collectors. Vincent Kompany is another top player for Belgium.

Top Eden Hazard Cards

2014 Panini Prizm World Cup Autographs Eden Hazard 211x300 Image

  • 2009-10 Panini Adrenalyn Foot Ligue 1 Champion
  • 2014 Panini Prizm World Cup Signatures #S-EH

The list covers a decent portion of the best players in the World Cup, but there are still plenty of other great footballers. Are there any other players in the 2014 FIFA World Cup that you are excited to collect?

Additionally, despite generally including the best overall teams, the World Cup does not necessarily feature all the best players in the world. Some missed out because their teams did not qualify and some were simply left off the final World Cup roster for their respective countries. Whatever the case, we also take a look two elite players who will not take the field in Brazil this summer, but are still worth noting.

Top Players Not in the 2014 World Cup

Zlatan Ibrahimović - Sweden

Arguably the best current player not named Messi or Ronaldo, Zlatan Ibrahimović will not be able to showcase his talents in the World Cup because Sweden did not qualify. Sweden also missed out on the 2010 World Cup, but Ibrahimović was on the 2002 and 2006 World Cup rosters.

2014 Panini Zlatan Ibrahimovic 205x300 Image

Gareth Bale - Wales

Wales is anything but a soccer powerhouse and has only been to one World Cup (1958). Despite this, they field one of the best players in the world in Gareth Bale. Technically eligible to play for England, he may never play in the World Cup with Wales, but don't feel too bad for Bale. He plays alongside Cristiano Ronaldo with Real Madrid and recently signed a lucrative contract.

2013 14 Topps Premier Gold Star Players Autographs Gareth Bale Image

ebaysmalllogo Image
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2014 Panini Prizm World Cup WC Stars Red Prizm Roberto Baggio #44 103 149
$50.00
2215492797344040 1 Image
2014 Panini Prizm World Cup WC Stars Blue Prizm Radamel Falcao #10 148 199
$5.00
3909297386164040 1 Image
LUKA MODRIC FUTERA UNIQUE 2014 jersey memo card edn of 100
$16.23
3909297386784040 1 Image
NEYMAR Ruby Parallel Edn 55 FUTERA UNIQUE 2014
$8.07
3909297387024040 1 Image
Paolo MALDINI Ruby Parallel Edn 55 FUTERA UNIQUE 2014
$8.07
3909297387504040 1 Image
PETER SCHMEICHEL MEMORABLE FUTERA UNIQUE 2014 jersey memo
$16.23
3110624049194040 1 Image
Match Attax England 2014 World Cup - Bosnia to Colombia cards
$8.07
2513666358974040 1 Image
2013 Topps MLS SuperDraft Autographs John Stertzer #SDA-JS Real Salt Lake
$8.99
1815041881174040 1 Image
Panini 2014 FIFA Prizm World Cup MIRALEM PJANIC GREEN 25 Bosnia Bosna !!!
$110.00
1815041916334040 1 Image
Panini 2014 FIFA Prizm World Cup CAPTAINS SPAHIC GREEN 25 Bosnia Bosna !!!
$135.00
1815041947744040 1 Image
Panini 2014 FIFA Prizm World Cup NETFINDERS DZEKO GREEN 25 Bosnia Bosna !!!
$135.00
1815041972954040 1 Image
Panini 2014 FIFA Prizm World Cup TEAM BOSNIA GREEN 25 Bosnia Bosna RARE !!!
$130.00
1712028944204040 1 Image
Adrenalyn limited edition Musa Panini champions league CL 2013 2014
$16.29
1513906166974040 1 Image
LIMITED PANINI WORLD CUP PRIZM 2014 BLERIM DZEMAILI RED 048 149 SWITZERLAND
$75.00
1513906179754040 1 Image
LIMITED PANINI WORLD CUP PRIZM 2014 RIO DE JANEIRO RED 136 149 HOST CITY INSERT
$75.00
1513906198764040 1 Image
LIMITED PANINI WORLD CUP PRIZM 2014 DAVID PIZARRO BLUE 078 199 CHILE LEGEND
$75.00
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Trey Treutel

E-Mail Author | 
Trey Treutel is an Ole Miss grad and a lifelong sports fanatic. He is a huge fan of the NBA and NFL, as well as soccer, college basketball and college football. As a kid, he collected football and basketball cards. As an adult, he started collecting basketball cards again on a whim, and has since expanded to other sports and entertainment options. Find Trey on Twitter at @datreute.

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