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Top Lionel Messi Cards to Collect

Top Lionel Messi Cards to Collect

Lionel Messi is arguably the biggest name in soccer and Lionel Messi cards continue to receive plenty of attention from collectors.

The speedy Argentinean forward is a fan favorite and despite somewhat limited cardboard options, remains one of the top choices for soccer collecting, along with Cristiano Ronaldo and Pelé. The only thing that keeps him from staking his claim as the top player of in history is his lack of World Cup titles. That's no longer the case as Messi claimed his first World Cup Final win in 2022. Of course, his individual and club success puts him among the legends of the sport and Lionel Messi cards enjoy considerable interest in the hobby.

While he has already had a rather lengthy professional career, which began in 2003 with Barcelona, collectors looking for early Lionel Messi cards will not find that many options, especially from his first decade as a pro. Values remain strong for key cards and collectors naturally gravitate to the Lionel Messi rookie cards, which were released in 2004-05 products, as well as his low-numbered options and autograph cards.

View Lionel Messi card auctions on eBay with the most bids.

Although initially very rare, Lionel Messi autograph cards have become a bit more common in soccer sets, especially releases from Panini along with Topps and Leaf. Individually, they are not likely to surface in huge numbers, but as a whole, the supply is moderate at any given time.

Shop for Lionel Messi autographs currently available on eBay.

The list below documents some of the most notable options for Leo Messi. This includes his top early cards and many of his signed cards.

For a detailed look at all the key early cards for Lionel Messi, view our Lionel Messi profile.

Top Lionel Messi Cards List

Click on the card listings below to shop for specific cards or track prices on eBay. Bolded sets go directly to detailed product profiles. 

2004-05 Panini Mega Cracks Lionel Messi #71

Easily the most valuable of the Lionel Messi rookie cards, the 2004-05 Mega Cracks release has seen a tremendous increase in attention. In particular, high grades command huge sums.

Falling under the same Mega Cracks brand, his 2004-05 Campeón and Campió rookies are popular, as well, and a bit easier on the wallet.

Top Lionel Messi Cards to Collect 1

2004-05 Panini Este La Liga Sticker Lionel Messi

While stickers are normally less valuable and less popular, especially with modern cards, Lionel Messi's 2004-05 Panini Este sticker is more limited than most of his other first-year cards. Collectors have certainly taken notice of this La Liga sticker and pushed values quite high.

Top Lionel Messi Cards to Collect 2

2006 Panini FIFA World Cup Germany #47 Lionel Messi

Another early card of note is his first World Cup trading card. Found in the 2006 Panini FIFA World Cup Germany set, these have seen much more interest in recent years.

His initial World Cup sticker (#185) is another popular choice.

Top Lionel Messi Cards to Collect 3

2013 Icons Limited Messi Collection Lionel Messi Autographs

The first major release of a certified, pack-pulled autograph for Lionel Messi came in 2013 Icons Messi Collection. Broken into two versions, the limited edition boxes offer autographs and game-worn or event-worn jersey cards, while the retail version only includes base cards.

The rare premium product was only available in Japan and Lionel Messi autographs fall about one per case. The main draw is the large on-card signature. In total, there are five different Lionel Messi signed cards found in the product but they can be very tough to locate.

Top Lionel Messi Cards to Collect 4

2014 Panini Prizm World Cup Parallels Lionel Messi

Refractor-mania is nothing new for North American collectors, but 2014 Prizm World Cup was one of the first products to bring an extensive checklist of the shiny parallels to international soccer. The full group includes 11 different parallels, and collectors have shown interest in the rarest options, including Green Crystal Prizm (#/25), Gold Prizm (#/10), Gold Power Prizm (#/5) and Black Prizm (1/1).

Because Messi is featured in multiple inserts (Net Finders, Matchups, Stars) and the base set, there are actually 48 different Lionel Messi cards to collect, including the non-Prizm versions of each card. If you include the Team Photos inserts for Argentina, that adds 12 more cards, for a total of 60 different Lionel Messi cards.

A similar assortment is found in the 2018 set.

Top Lionel Messi Cards to Collect 5Top Lionel Messi Cards to Collect 6
Top Lionel Messi Cards to Collect 7Top Lionel Messi Cards to Collect 8

2014 Panini Prizm World Cup Signatures Lionel Messi #S-LME Autograph

While it is not the first certified Lionel Messi signed card to emerge from a pack, this Lionel Messi autograph is one of the most popular cards in the entire 2014 Prizm World Cup product and a key part of his cardboard legacy.

Messi and Argentina came up just short in 2014, losing to Germany in the World Cup final.

The supply for these has largely dried up over the years, so it might take a little extra work to snag one.

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2016 Panini Flawless Lionel Messi Autographs

One of the first major releases to stress on-card autographs, 2016 Flawless was the cream of the crop at that time. Messi has several notable signatures, including the Sole of the Game card with match-worn shoe pieces.

Top Lionel Messi Cards to Collect 10

2016-17 Panini Noir Lionel Messi Autographs

Normally thought of as an NBA card brand, 2016-17 Panini Noir turned to soccer stars. The huge draw here is the fact that this set has hard-signed autographs for Messi. As seen below with the Legendary Signatures insert, some are even signed using gold ink.

Top Lionel Messi Cards to Collect 11

2017 Panini Revolution Lionel Messi Autograph #A-LM SSP

Incredibly rare, the Messi autograph in 2017 Revolution Soccer is super short print (SSP), which means there are just 25 copies (or less). As a result, it can be very difficult, if not impossible, to find.

Top Lionel Messi Cards to Collect 12

2017 Panini Immaculate Collection Lionel Messi Autographs

Another premium move to soccer for a high-end Panini brand, 2017 Immaculate Collection opts for Messi sticker autographs, which is not ideal. Still, there are several choices.

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2018 Panini Eminence Lionel Messi Autographs

Another top-of-the-line soccer set is 2018 Eminence. Huge prices, extravagant designs and limited runs all converge for the Lionel Messi autographs. In typical Panini style for ultra-premium releases, several of the encased cards add a diamond with the on-card signature.

Top Lionel Messi Cards to Collect 14

2018 Panini National Treasures Lionel Messi Autographs

2018 National Treasures Soccer might come up short to Eminence, but the expensive brand still offers one of the better Messi cards. The Colossal insert features a jumbo relic and on-card signature.

Top Lionel Messi Cards to Collect 15

2018 Panini Prizm World Cup Signatures Lionel Messi #S-LM Autograph

Just a few years later, 2018 Prizm World Cup provided another Lionel Messi autograph tied to the greatest global sporting event. Panini revealed that this signed card is part of the SSP (Super Short Print) lineup. That means the odds to pull his card is anywhere from 1:19 cases to 1:50 cases. Yes, cases.

Top Lionel Messi Cards to Collect 16

2022 Panini Prizm World Cup Signatures Lionel Messi #S-LEO Autograph

In what is likely his last World Cup, Messi helped lead Argentina to the title. Collectors can turn to 2022 Prizm World Cup for a direct connection to the final Messi triumph for his country.

Top Lionel Messi Cards to Collect 17

Topps Champions League Lionel Messi Autographs

Although not as common as his Panini autographs, Topps produces multiple UEFA Champions Leagues sets with limited Lionel Messi autograph cards for Barcelona FC. This includes 2017-18 Topps Chrome UCL, 2017-18 Topps Museum Collection UCL, 2018-19 Topps Chrome UCL, 2018-19 Topps Finest UCL, 2019-20 Topps Finest UCL, among others.

Top Lionel Messi Cards to Collect 18

Donruss Lionel Messi Autographs

One of several soccer brands from Panini to be issued in multiple years, Donruss takes the classic design style to modern stars like Messi. His autograph cards are found in 2015 Donruss, 2016-17 Donruss and 2018-19 Donruss.

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Panini Select Lionel Messi Autographs

Similarly, Select Soccer is another product line with multiple iterations that feature Lionel Messi autographs. This includes 2015 Select, 2016-17 Select, and 2017-18 Select.

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Leaf Lionel Messi Autographs

Although the cards do not showcase team logos, Leaf gives Lionel Messi autograph collectors even more variety. Messi is a regular option in the brand's multi-sport releases. One appealing aspect in addition to the rarity is that Leaf frequently pairs Messi with other legends.

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Trey is 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. In more recent years, he started collecting basketball cards again on a whim and has since expanded to other sports and entertainment options.

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