Mark Godfrey

Missing in action: Illustrating Panini's missing World Cup stars

Mark Godfrey
Missing in action: Illustrating Panini's missing World Cup stars

Picture the scene... Harry Maguire, Leicester and England centre back, gets the call from Gareth Southgate that he has made the final 23 man squad for Englands 2018 World Cup squad. He half expected it, due to his recent run in the national team, but its a day for celebration nonetheless. He calls his family to tell them the good news, then pops to the shop to buy a celebratory can of Lilt. While in the newsagents he spots the Official 2018 Panini Sticker book. He rips it open, flicks his way to page 64 and scours the England squad for his name... but its not there. Dropping to his knees in the middle of a busy corner shop, he breaks down in tears, clutching the flimsy book in his hands as the camera fades to black. End scene.

32 nations will take 23 players each and fly to Russia for this summers FIFA World Cup. That's 736 players in total. Around 500 of those players are featured in the Official Panini World Cup sticker book, but what about the rest? The MIFA (Missing in Footy Album) project aims to put this right, as artists from around the world collaborate in their quest to draw a sticker for every player who isnt included in the iconic sticker book.

The project is the brainchild of Dave Will, a designer and illustrator who's clients include the likes of BT Sport, Liverpool FC, Inter Milan, the Bundesliga and Eurosport. In the build up to the World Cup, Dave decided to create a personal project relating to the tournament that would give him the opportunity to get creative and have some fun. The MIFA Project was born.

However, it soon became obvious that this was too big for just one man, so Dave opened up the project to other artists, professional or amateur, to get involved. When a nation confirms their 23 man squad, Dave makes a list of players that are in the squad but not included in the sticker book. Those players are then listed on the MIFA website (davewilldesign.com/mifa) and artists can email Dave to claim a player. The artist then illustrates their chosen player in any medium they choose. So far, there are 95 players on the MIFA list, all of which have been claimed by various artists from around the world. Those 95 players are made up of players from 12 countries, but with 20 more squads yet to be confirmed there are plenty more players to be added. Dave estimates there will be around 250 players in total that will be illustrated by the end of the project.

If you are an illustrator, a designer or even just someone who likes to doodle, find out how you can get involved at www.davewilldesign.com/mifa

And if you see Harry Maguire in the next few weeks, give him a hug and tell him MIFA has his back.

Visit the website http://davewilldesign.com/ while they can also be found on Twitter and Instagram under the handle @davewi11