London, Apr. 25: Thieves robbed a van carrying hundreds of thousands of Panini World Cup stickers this week during a delivery in Rio de Janeiro and reportedly made off with some 3,00,000 of the adhesive stickers, which featured players who would appear in the forthcoming event in Brazil starting in June.
According to the Guardian, the shiny stickers, which made their debut in the 1970 World Cup and since then have been loved world over by football fans, were being on their way to be delivered to newsagents in the host city when the van was looted.
However, Panini, who is the official maker of the World Cup stickers, were reportedly quick to ward off panic among fans, who have been hoping to complete the collection of all 640 stickers, insisting that their supplies of Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Neymar’s stickers were not running low.
Panini revealed in a statement that the city of Rio de Janeiro is well supplied and that there is no shortage of the company’s official products for sale.
This is not the first time Panini stickers have been stolen, as thieves broke into a distribution centre in Sao Paulo ahead of the South Africa World Cup and made off with 1,35,000 packets of stickers, which were later found, the report added. (ANI)