With Euro 2008 in mid swing already I figure I'd make the first football (soccer) post. I've followed the sport for a few years now, and support London's only true north team, Tottenham Hotspur. The team has a lot of talent, but always falls short, many people (myself included) compare them to the Chicago Cubs, or better yet my own hometown team, The Cleveland Indians.
Wizards of the Coast, who made my favorite game ever, MLB Showdown, had it's own card game overseas, called Football Champions. With the end of MLB Showdown in 2005, I had nothing to collect and play. And with me being a soccer fan and not owning any of these cards, I decided I'd start to collect.
The cards themselves were made in England for two seasons. The 2001-2002 season was made by Wizards of the Coast and feature stars like David Beckham (Manchester United), Thierry Henry (Arsenal), Teddy Sheringham (Tottenham Hotspur), and many others. There was the base set and then Title Race, which was a smaller extended set. The second year, they were made by a different company, Subbuteo, who makes the table top football game that is wildly popular overseas. France had one season made, which was 2001-2002. Just like the English, the France set had a large base set and an extended set called "Pour Le Titre".
The largest sets by far came from Italy. They had sets from 2001-2002, 2002-2003, 2003-2004, and 2004-2005. Each of these sets had the base set, along with their "Calciomercato" extended sets. Along with these sets, Italian Football Champion players had the chance to earn plenty of promotional cards, some of which are very hard to get, even today.
Some of the best sites to check out Football Champions are:
www.ebay.co.uk (Ebay England)
www.ebay.fr (Ebay France)
www.ebay.it (Ebay Italy)
http://www.lafumetteria.it/football_singole.asp (La Fumetteria)
http://www.lppcollecting.it/fc/box.shtml (LPP Collecting, Italian Site)
I mostly got all of my Football Champions through the various Ebay sites. There's actually a listing for over 100+ Italian foils from all the years, something which would greatly help in trying to finish my collections.
If you read this and have FC Cards, I'd gladly trade.