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Marvel Us: These Premier League Superheroes Might As Well Be Comic Book Characters

Whether it's Erling Haaland as Thor or Mo Salah as Dr. Strange, the brightest stars of the English Premier League certainly seem superhuman.

By Andrew Woodin
Premier League Erling Thor

The English Premier League’s 2022-2023 season is off to a roaring start. Newcomer Erling Haaland has surpassed expectations, netting not one but two goals in his Premier League debut for Man City. Off a corner in the final minute of stoppage time against Chelsea, Tottenham's Harry Kane lit the EPL on fire with a perfectly placed header for the equalizer (and setting up an epic managerial feud). Speed, power, creativity – this season is already peppered with thrilling victories and absolutely crushing defeats (Sorry, Manchester United). Inspired by energized crowds, the athleticism on display has been nothing short of spectacular or even superhuman. With that in mind, we thought it'd be fun to link up the metahumans of the Premier League with their MCU counterparts in the ultimate super-footy mashup!

Harry Kane – CAPTAIN BRITAIN

If not for the English citizenship, Tottenham's talismanic striker would be a shoe-in for Captain America (besides, that nickname's already taken), but Captain Britain's no slouch in the Marvel multiverse either. Make no mistake about it, Kane’s a relentless warrior on the pitch and the lad you’d want leading your super-footballer squad. The ever-reliable three-time Golden Boot winner has cemented himself as one of the preeminent, world-class strikers of his era and proven time and time again that he’s a brilliant leader, even when it comes to motivating other mega stars like his Tottenham partner Son Heung-min. If any of the EPL’s greats have the courage to carry an iconic shield into battle, it’s Kane.  

Erling Haaland – THOR

 

Premier League Erling Thor

Watching Man City’s Norwegian striker thunder up and down the field makes you already think that’s Odin’s blood pumping through the 22-year-old’s veins. At a stalwart 6’4, his formidable presence is only matched by his determination. He attacks at a blistering pace, and in a moment’s notice, he can channel the Asgardian hammer god’s physical prowess to vanquish his enemies. With two goals in his debut against West Ham, he knows a thing or two about what it takes to be victorious.

Phil Foden – SPIDERMAN

Widely considered to be one of the most talented young players, Manchester City's Foden, 22, exhibits sublime touch and possesses an uncanny ability to gracefully evade his opponents’ challenges. He’s ambitious with the ball yet perfectly comfortable steering the ship. Coupled with his ability to shut down passes, his break-neck speed makes him an incredible asset in transitional offense.

Cristiano Ronaldo – IRON MAN

Last season, five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo miraculously notched 18 goals for Manchester United, proving that age is just a number. As one of the few, hopeful glimmers on Erik Ten Hag’s squad, the valiant, Portuguese superstar embodies both the power and the extreme celebrity of billion-dollar playboy Tony Stark.

Mo Salah – DR. STRANGE

Premier League Mo Dr Strange

Well-known for his dazzling scoring ability, Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah is a beguiling wizard with the ball, making him dangerous from anywhere on the field. His extraordinary finishing skills have propelled Liverpool’s ace to three Golden Boots and earned him the record for scoring in a 38-game season with 32 goals.  

Kevin De Bruyne – HAWKEYE

The Avengers’ archer-in-residence would approve, considering Man City’s Belgian midfielder ranks first in assists inside the box and second in key passes. His lethal passing accuracy serves as the engine for the Citizens’ offense both in the open field and in rapid transition. Like Clint Barton, De Bruyne relies heavily on his carefully tuned in-field vision to orchestrate Pep Guardiola’s offense and to anticipate his foes’ attacks.

Virgil van Dijk – HULK

Though he probably doesn’t have seven PhDs, like Bruce Banner and now Jennifer Walters in She-Hulk, there are two incredible sides to the Dutch footballer. On one hand, his strength, durability and fearless nature make Liverpool’s center back a beast when it comes to shutting down attacks and conquering the enemy. At 6’4 and 203 pounds, how could the intimidating defender not be? On the flip side, he’s never erratic and careless. His ability to cleverly position himself and time his challenges often prohibits attacks from fully maturing.

Darwin Nunez – WINTER SOLDIER

Weaponized with scorching speed and unwavering tenacity, the Uruguayan youngster will surely have a successful career under the guidance of Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp, but his unbridled temper might be his harbinger of doom. Though clearly provoked by Crystal Palace’s Joachim Anderson, the 23-year-old’s violent outburst earned him a costly red card last weekend. In addition to leaving The Reds high and dry for the remainder of that match (Liverpool did manage to eke out a draw off a Luis Diaz equalizer), the shoot first, ask questions later forward will also miss the next three matches, including what could be a critical face-off against their bitter rival Manchester United. Take a lesson from Zidane, in the end, head-butting never works out.    

Roberto Firmino – LOKI

Premier League Roberto Loki

The Brazilian forward regularly infuses a bit of magic into his repertoire, fueling an industrious combination of advanced, close-quarters dribbling and dangerous finishing. The showman has a uniquely bold style all his own and is not even remotely afraid to rip a flashy shot. Like the self-anointed God of Mischief, Liverpool’s striker is highly skilled in the art of deception.  

Rodri – ANT-MAN

The crafty Spaniard has a full bag of tricks when it comes to passing, and though he’s not the focal point of Manchester City, his highly efficient work rate makes him an important piece of City’s team. His seven goals in 33 appearances last year filled in the gaps to help lift Guardiola’s crew to their third Premier League title in a row.

Raheem Sterling – BLACK PANTHER

Chelsea’s $56 million blockbuster acquisition is a natural forward, displaying both savvy innovation the and superb ability to threaten defenses in one-on-one situations. Like T’Challa, his arsenal of weapons might not be as powerful as some of the other EPL avengers, but his versatility to play either flank is a great addition for The Blues as is his acceleration. At times, the boys of Stamford Bridge seemed to lack pace out wide last year, but judging by the Englishman’s runs this past Sunday against the Spurs, his thirst to score should naturally evolve into more interior cuts where he’ll have plenty of goal-making opportunities. If he can rise to the challenge and surpass the club’s lofty expectations, he could be the hero The Pensioners needed all along. 

Christian Pulisic – ROCKET

Okay, okay. Pulisic is better known as "Captain America," but maybe the Guardians' Rocket is a more apt comp. As a winger on The Blues, the 23-year-old American phenom infuses his play with a steady attack-oriented mindset. Like his anthropomorphic counterpart, his scrappy, vibrant energy is infectious, and out on the pitch, his motor is nearly endless. He’s a bit raw at times, never backing down from a scoring opportunity or an aerial duel, but his Chelsea mates can always rely on the expansiveness of his technical ability to create dynamic plays.   

Son Heung-min – STAR LORD

The captain of the South Korean international team marries explosive speed and a zest for scoring, and in the 2021/2022 season, the Tottenham attacker co-won the Golden Boot after leathering 23 goals for the Spurs. The top solo award elevated him to become the first, Asian Premier League player to win the prestigious honor. Though his style’s sometimes brash, now in his eighth season with the Spurs, Son also showcases vital play-linking prowess up top with Kane, collecting 47 assists throughout his EPL tenure.   

What do you think of our list? Which Premier League players would you pick for Groot and Drax the Destroyer?

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