KEY POINTS

  • Cristiano Ronaldo will be the first trading card that the partnership between Sorare and Juventus will issue
  • Sorare will issue three types of cards: unique, super rare and rare
  • Other top football clubs in Europe like Atletico Madrid, Porto and AS Roma are joining the trend

The common snag for owning trading cards way before the advent of blockchain is the existence of cheap knockoffs that diminishes the value of its authentic counterparts. In a way, blockchain has presented a solution to maintaining the uniqueness of each issue in the same way that Bitcoin, the most-popular transaction ledger it holds, tries to solve cheap money.

Joining the trend of blockchain trading cards that was started by Panini America in December is the leading Italian professional football club Juventus. The football team is partnering up with French fantasy football company Sorare to offer digital collectible cards of its players. And their first issue is none other than superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, according to Coindesk.

"We are very proud to have signed this agreement with such an Italian heavyweight," said Sorare CEO Nicolas Julia. "We see this as a new key step in our vision to onboard the best soccer clubs from around the world and bring blockchain-gaming to football fans around the world."

Sorare will issue three types of cards: unique, super rare and rare. Each player will have one unique card, ten super rare cards, and 100 rare cards (a total of 111 cards), and other top football clubs in Europe are joining, including Atletico Madrid, Porto and AS Roma.

The cards will represent non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and are based on the Ethereum blockchain. While Panini's trading card didn't mention specifically the blockchain their cards are running on, it does extend the same advantages that Sorare offers with its version.

Panini also has an equivalent physical version of the card for every digital version, and it includes an autograph from the player and sometimes a piece of memorabilia. It's similar to what Nike extracted from the blockchain game Cryptokitties that when Nike customers buy "cryptokicks," it generates a digital version of the shoe and a token. Then, it's all secured and authenticated using blockchain.

When the first issue of Cristiano Ronaldo launches on Feb. 20, it can be used to play in Sorare's game that comprises five-player teams. It can also be traded in the secondary market, in which some unique cards have ballooned to over $2,000 in price.

Cristiano Ronaldo In this picture, Ronaldo of Juventus reacts during the Srie A match between Juventus and SSC Napoli at Allianz Stadium on Sept. 29, 2018, in Turin, Italy. Photo: Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images