“My husband is super proud! »… Fans invite themselves among the stars of the Panini album

Little imaginary conversation in the playground of a primary school this Friday, somewhere in France:

  • “I have Guillaume Grosjean’s Panini sticker in duplicate, I’ll exchange it for Kylian Mbappé’s, OK? »
  • “No, I’m keeping “Kyky”. On the other hand, I can give you Esma Basaran against your Grosjean. »

Two of the three names above do not play in Ligue 1. However, they refer to very real people. Guillaume Grosjean (20 years old) plays for AS Quinçay Football (Vienne) while Esma Basaran is a 12-year-old girl from Vineuil Sports Football (Loir-et-Cher). These are two of the 24 amateurs who appear in the album Panini Football 2024 dedicated to L1, released Wednesday. A great first and a nice publicity stunt for the venerable work, launched in France in 1975, as well as for Uber Eats.

Height, weight, date of birth… It’s all there

The lucky winners come from teams sponsored by the title sponsor of the French elite, with a subtle balance of gender, age and geographical distribution. Date and place of birth, height and weight, jersey number… The information provided is the same as that of the pros, down to the preferred foot. Uber Eats had co-opted a total of 50 clubs a year ago as part of the “In our colors” program, in collaboration with the FFF, to provide two teams from each entity with “personalized jerseys worthy of the pros”, designed by the artist Nam Kunn.

Thus the U18s and the reserves of the Athletic Club Garona, a club bringing together four municipalities south of Toulouse (Pins-Justaret, Roquettes, Saubens and Villate), wear this season a tunic where the red and black colors of the ACG are striped with a white ribbon which represents the Garonne. “It’s a good thing for amateur clubs which do not have excessive resources,” appreciates President David Gascon. We are all volunteers and it is a source of pride when we achieve things. »

AC Garona has already had its own album of vignettes published by another company (My Vignette) for five years, where its 668 members are located. Among them, Hugo Males is also immortalized on the album Panini Football 2024, distributed in a million copies. As in the other clubs concerned, Uber Eats had pre-selected two licensees to carry out a photo shoot in Paris or Marseille. The final choice was made based on everyone’s desire or availability.

“The shooting took place on October 11 or 12 and I was free,” says the 20-year-old left winger, who is playing in seniors (Departmental 2) and is also training as a photographer. Honestly, it’s a childhood dream. I have always bought Panini albums, football is a big part of my life. »

“I think I’m going to frame it”

This fan of Cristiano Ronaldo and Benfica – but also of PSG while being a TFC subscriber – was quick to share on the family WhatsApp group and on Instagram the first articles about him that appeared in the press. “It’s a unique opportunity and I’m very grateful for it,” says the young striker. This album, I think I’m going to frame it. »

Thursday at midday, 600 km northwest of the ACG headquarters, Valérie Papin Charon was still watching for the postman who was supposed to bring her the precious object. At 40 years old, the defensive midfielder from US Guécélard (Sarthe, 360 members) serves as the oldest member of this improbable team of amateurs from all corners of the metropolis.

Valérie Papin Charon (top left) is the oldest of the album. – Panini

“I get cheated by ex-teammates who are in their fifties and whom I myself called elders when I was younger,” jokes this mother of three girls aged 11, 8 and 6. When she is not playing, the Sarthoise coaches her eldest child in the U13 mixed team. She also watches the Premier League on TV with her husband, known as a teenager… when they played in the same jersey.

Viewed on TV

“I was a little hesitant at first, but my husband told me it would be an unexpected experience. He is super proud! Besides, he accompanied me to the shoot in Paris. » For someone who has walked the lawns without interruption, or almost, since she was 6 years old, “it’s a special experience to live, but not unpleasant. Even if sometimes it’s a bit too much at once. »

One of the 3,150 residents of Guécélard, 20 km from Le Mans, still smiles at the mention of this BFM journalist who slipped on Tuesday, during the “Image of the day” sequence : “Next to Kylian Mbappé, there is… Papin Charon. » “There is going to be a game in the club: the first person to come across my sticker wins a gift,” she continues. We will also try to have a photo competition with the children who take the pose of their choice with the album. »

But in fact, this surname… “It’s my husband’s, but there is no link,” she replies. That said, I loved JPP when I was little. It was thanks to him that I got into football. » And a little thanks to him too that his daughters will be able to blaze at recess, showing their friends their mother’s Panini sticker.

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