Argentina and football are synonymous in the modern era and one man defined a golden generation for Argentine success like no other – Diego Maradona.
The little magician was instrumental in leading Argentina to success at the 1986 FIFA World Cup and his style of play continues to be emulated in today’s game.
His death in 2020 was met with an outpouring of grief amongst the world footballing community and his legacy continues to develop, even after his passing.
After making a name for himself at Boca Juniors, Maradona went on to be a roaring success at Barcelona before making his career defining move to Napoli.
In the industrial south of Italy, Maradona won two Serie A titles, as well as the UEFA Cup – in a period where he was the undisputed best player on the planet.
His playing days continued at Sevilla, before he wound up his career with Newell’s Old Boys and back at Boca Juniors in the 1990’s.
Off field problems always plagued Maradona, who enjoyed a hedonistic lifestyle away from the pitch and his untimely death at the age of just 60, was one of the great sporting tragedies.
However, he remains one of the most iconic footballers to have ever played the game and his global appeal remains as prominent today, as it ever has been.
Here is a rundown of some of the most valuable Diego Maradona cards on the market:
Diego Maradona Rookie Cards
1979 Industria Argentina Super Futbol Diego Maradona
Despite beginning his career in the mid 1970’s, it took until later in the decade for Diego Maradona to be depicted in card form, when he was part of the 1979 Industria Argentina Super Futbol range.
In the red of his first ever club, Argentinos Juniors, Maradona is youthful in stature as he stands with hands on hips, after participating in a match or training session.
As with all cards from this era, information regarding the print runs is always difficult to come by, making owning any of these cards a real coup.
In terms of dates, it is the first graded and recorded card attributed to Diego Maradona, making it his rookie offering.
1982 Panini FIFA World Cup Diego Maradona Rookie Base Sticker
Whilst this card doesn’t originate from Diego Maradona’s rookie seasons, it is the first card in which the Argentine legend is featured in a FIFA World Cup collection – often a big tick in the box for collectors looking for niches.
The 1982 World Cup in Spain was arguably the most important competition of Maradona’s career to this point, as he and Argentina made a name for themselves with their impressive performances and enigmatic playing style.
Key to the value in this sticker is the classic blue and white striped Argentina kit Maradona is wearing, a symbolic jersey throughout his time playing for the national team.
Niche spotters will also notice the inclusion of the middle name Armando, not often seen with Diego Maradona memorabilia – making it even more of a collection piece.
Best Diego Maradona Cards
1982 Diego Maradona FC Barcelona Este La Liga Sticker
By the 1980’s, football stickers had become a big deal across Europe and beyond and the top division in Spain La Liga and by 1982, Diego Maradona was one of the biggest name footballers on the planet.
Despite only spending two seasons at Barcelona, Maradona captured the hearts and minds of the passionate fans at the Nou Camp, for his incredible performances.
Here in the 1982 Diego Maradona Este La Liga Sticker, the Argentine is pictured in action, in the infamous red and blue stripes of Barcelona – making it a real collectors piece.
1979 Panini Calciatori Diego Maradona Argentina
Arguably the most sought after Diego Maradona card on the market is the 1979 Panini Calciatori Diego Maradona Argentina sticker hailing from Italy.
Symbolic imagery on the card shows Maradona in the blue and white of Argentina, complete with Adidas logo on the jersey and his name – Maradona, making it an iconic sticker.
Few images in world sport are as instantly recognisable than Diego Maradona in an Argentina shirt and the simplicity of the sticker is one of its USP’s.
The Maradona sticker came within a set with other iconic players of the time such as Kevin Keegan and Michael Platini, with the Argentine’s sticker by far the most valuable.
2021-22 Panini Mosaic Auto Diego Maradona Prizm Card
Panini have long held a handle on the trading card and sticker market and they as relevant today as they ever has been.
The 2021-22 Panini Mosaic Auto Diego Maradona Prizm Card features Maradona’s signature and a sleek refractor design, with Maradona in the iconic Barcelona kit of the 1980’s.
With so many cards and stickers on the market featuring Maradona in an Argentina kit, the change up of Barcelona attire, makes it a sought after recent piece.
Diego Maradona Card FAQs
Is a Diego Maradona rookie card, a good investment?
With his career first beginning in the mid 1970’s and concluding in the mid 1990’s, Diego Maradona’s appeal across the world of football was monumental.
Maradona’s untimely death in 2020 saw an inevitable boom in the associated Diego Maradona memorabilia market and consequently, any rookie card depicting the great Argentine is highly sought after.
One of the key issues when purchasing a Diego Maradona rookie card is the initial cost but they should always hold value in any resale market.
What are the best cheap Diego Maradona cards
When it comes to iconic footballers, Diego Maradona can certainly hold a claim for being one of the most instantly recognisable players of all time.
Consequently, all Diego Maradona collectables are hard to come by at a reasonable price and investors should always be willing to part with some significant cash to get into the Maradona market.
More recent Diego Maradona cards tend to be cheaper, such as the aforementioned 2021-22 Panini Mosaic Auto Diego Maradona Prizm Card, which should hold value moving forward, whilst the 2018-19 Diego Maradona Panini FIFA 365 Album Sticker, also does a similar job.