Kobe Bryant’s love of soccer is no secret. The Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard spent part of his childhood in Italy. But what may surprise some is that Bryant is part of the growing 2014 World Cup Panini craze.
It is not hard to see why Bryant is so familiar with the trading cards. The Panini company was started in Modena, Italy and grew the brand domestically. The company got involved with soccer first through the “L’Almanacco Illustrato del Calcio Italiano” (The Illustrated Guide to Italian Football) in 1970. The same year they introduced the first World Cup Panini collector’s cards for the Mexico World Cup. This was the first time they used self-adhesive stickers.
Kobe is all over the game with the World Cup just around the corner. He was in the new Nike ‘Risk Everything’ ‘Winner Stays’ video and recently tweeted about being apart of Nike F.C.