Argentina’s thrilling World Cup victory over France not only gave Lionel Messi the biggest trophy of his career, it also made him tops in the frothy collectible sports card world.
Bidder searches on the card auction site PWCC—one of the largest card brokers around—saw interest in Messi surge nearly five times his average Sunday, blowing past inquiries for cards of collecting legends Michael Jordan, LeBron James and Tom Brady, according to the auction platform.
“Messi gilded his career with this victory, and demand for his cards clearly rose in concert with the achievement. The numbers highlight how important an exciting game is for demand in player assets,” said PWCC vice president of sales Jesse Craig.
At least for a day, Messi was the most important player in sports card collecting, with search volume more than 400% greater than NBA great Jordan and James, and more than 500% better than the ageless NFL quarterback Brady.
PWCC Marketplace hosts a weekly auction that closes each Sunday, and its sales data reinforces the rise in demand for Messi. Out of 104 Messi collectibles on offer on the platform, prices finished an average 93% higher than their insurance value. The top soccer card sale of the day too belonged to the Argentine striker: The 2017 Topps Chrome UEFA Champions League Gold Refractor Lionel Messi/50 sold for $14,400. It held the top rating, 10, from card grader PSA.
Also seeing much higher-than-average volume Sunday was Golden Boot winner Kylian Mbappé. The star of the second-place French side also saw nearly five times above his average collector search Sunday, said PWCC.