World Cup 2014: Panini sticker heist sees 300,000 packs stolen in Brazil

Brazilian criminals get away with 300,000 packets in daring heist

“I’ll swap you a Zinedine Zidane for a Sami Al-Jaber.”

We all remember the days, hustling round the school yard trying to fill up every page of your Panini World Cup sticker book.

While the end goal of filling up every page was pretty hard, it did provide with the crucial life skill of being able to name the whole Saudi Arabian 1998 World Cup squad from goalie to kit man.

They were and still are a massive hit with Britain’s youth.

However, according to reports in Brazil yesterday, it is not only Britain’s youngsters that have a penchant for the adhesive collectibles.

It seems Brazil’s criminal underworld is also partial to a Panini sticker collection too.

In one of the weirdest heists of recent times, thieves in Brazil have managed to steal over 300,000 packs of Panini stickers after a lorry carrying the collectibles was held up.

According to reports from local papers, the lorry carrying the loot was hijacked by thieves when the driver was making a delivery in the country’s capital Rio de Janiero.

The hold-up is not the first time the sticker company, which has been selling books and stickers since the World Cup in 1970, has been targeted by criminals in Brazil.

In 2010, a gang of burglars broke in to a Sao Paolo distribution centre and made off with 135,000 packets.

While the theft has had collectors across the Brazil worrying that the removal of the 300,000 stickers might result in a national shortage, with prices becoming extortionate prices for the collectible adhesives becoming extortionate, Panini has assured collectors that stock was not running low.

It is still believed that the street value for Koke is still, generally, a Paul Pogba and a shiny Wilson Palacios.