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The Most Collectible Stars from the 2006 World Cup

I might be a bit biased when I say that the 2006 World Cup, held in Germany, was a delight to behold. Mainly because it was the first one I was old enough to fully remember in its wonderful entirety.

A Recap of the 2006 World Cup

It was a real showstopper of an international tournament.

With unforgettable moments, dramatic matches, and standout performances, it left an indelible mark on football history, as well as that of the famous competition itself.

One can arguably say that, with all of the plots and subplots unfolding throughout this summer in Germany, that it was one of the most intriguing setups in recent memory. With perhaps the constant noise around Qatar seeming to change peoples’ admittedly short opinions on that subject.

But as collectors (like myself) seek to preserve the memories of this iconic tournament, certain stars (both rising and risen) have emerged as the most in-demand and collectible figures from this era.

And let’s kick this list off with the one name synonymous with this tournament…

Zinedine Zidane (France)

And the ‘head-butt heard from around the world’.

I can understand why he did it (kinda), but I really wish that he didn’t!

Zinedine Zidane’s performance in the 2006 World Cup final remains etched in the memories of football fans everywhere. As his beautiful swan song unfolded before our very eyes.

Despite that infamous moment of madness in the final against Italy, Zidane’s contributions throughout the tournament were nothing short of spectacular. All you have to do is look at his incredible performance against a last-grasp Brazil side in the late stages to see what I’m talking about!

As one of the greatest midfielders of all time, memorabilia featuring Zidane from the 2006 World Cup, including jerseys, photographs, and match-worn gear, continues to be highly sought after by collectors eager to own a piece of footballing history.

But as his last World Cup, his cards and stickers are only increasing in value, too!

Fabio Cannavaro (Italy)

Captaining Italy to victory in the 2006 World Cup, Fabio Cannavaro solidified his status as one of the greatest defenders of his generation.

And arguably one of the greatest defenders of all time.

Known for his impeccable timing, tactical intelligence, and leadership on the pitch, Cannavaro’s memorabilia from the tournament holds significant value among collectors.

His Ballon D’Or win following the tournament has gone some way to cementing his legacy as a truly world class defender, and what a beautiful way it was to end his career.

Better still, the Cannavaro name is one that is held with real reverence across Europe, but especially back in Italy. With homegrown fans appearing to still be clamouring for any Fabio-related merchandise in connection with this tournament. Which, in itself, represents the greatest period of national pride and salvation for a country much harmed by their reputation off the pitch.

Which came to fruition with the Calciopoli scandal only a few months later.

Wayne Rooney (England)

Ah, Wayne Rooney – the saviour of English football.

And arguably the tip of the crown upon this ‘Golden Generation‘ of English talent.

With a team boasting the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and many more, it’s strange to think that a twenty year-old was capable of dwarfing that excitement.

But in truth, Wayne Rooney was a different animal, much like he presented in his earlier club debuts for both Everton and Manchester United. At EURO 2004, the world caught a glimpse of what was to come from Wazza, but the nation as a whole failed to live up to the weight of those expectations.

Still, there’s demand for a much-loved figure of British football at his first World Cup, even if this particular one was cut short by another person on his list i.e. his own club teammate.

Ronaldo & Messi (Portugal & Argentina)

I’ve decided to put them two together, otherwise it’ll just get repetitive.

Which, in my mind, makes a lot of sense when you consider that both of them made their maiden voyage on this grand stage at the 2006 World Cup in 2006. Sparking a thus-far 16-year period of pure vitriolic debate amongst fans worldwide about ‘which one is better’.

Unfortunately for Leo and Argentina, the South American giants weren’t in the right state of mind or body to make proper use of Messi’s talent, but there was plenty of time for that.

Cristiano was slightly older and benefitted from a much mature setup at Portugal, but even his own talents couldn’t outweigh the pressure of controversy, as a run-in with Wayne Rooney threatened to derail the immense about of progress he’s been making so far.

Needless to say, both he and Messi did just fine, and any type of memorabilia from the 2006 World Cup for either of them represents a huge potential investment for any football collector.

Why? Because this was their ‘rookie‘ campaign. The magic ‘R‘ word.

Both even had their old numbers – Cristiano with 17 and Leo with 19. Gold!


The 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany provided football fans with unforgettable moments and iconic performances that continue to resonate to this day. Which collectors want to preserve.

Whether it’s jerseys, autographed merchandise, or limited edition items commemorating their achievements, collecting memorabilia from the 2006 World Cup allows fans to relive the glory of football’s greatest stage and pay tribute to the legends who graced it.

And it helps that stickers and cards remain aplenty on the second-hand market… for now!

What’s your most vivid memory of the 2006 World Cup?