If the Marvel Universe Had a Football Team

With Ant-Man and the Wasp out today in cinemas Marvel is again near the forefront of our mind. We’ve already had two behemoths this year in Avengers: Infinity War and Black Panther and with the likes of a new Wolverine podcast and the prospect of Venom starring Tom Hardy arriving in October the Marvel universe is as busy as ever.

With the summer dominated by the World Cup and superhero movies, it got us to thinking. Who would star in a football team made up of characters from the Marvel cinematic universe? To be clear we’re talking soccer American readers. We’ve argued our points around the office and have come up with what we think is a pretty definitive team. We’ve gone with a 3-5-2 formation as a nod to England manager Gareth Southgate and have only chosen male characters (heroes and villains) who’d previously featured on screen in a Marvel film.

Manager – PROFESSOR CHARLES XAVIER

It’s pretty much impossible to look past the originator of the X-Men and a man blessed with such supreme intellect. He’s proved his man management skills getting the most out of his mutant pupils at his academy and Charles would have the tactics of an Arsene Wenger in his prime. And of course, It doesn’t hurt that he can read and control the minds of others, especially for penalty shootouts.

Assistant Manager – LOKI

Perhaps the most devious of all the characters in the Marvel Universe, Thor’s half-brother would bring the necessary dark arts to the table if things weren’t going so well on the pitch. As God of mischief and Prince of lies he’s quite adept at turning situations to his advantage through any means possible.

Marvel Team:

Goal Keeper – SPIDER-MAN

You couldn’t see old Spidey fumbling balls like Karius in the Champions League Final, even if he had a concussion. With those sticky hands and extraordinary acrobatic skills he might well be the first name on the manager’s team sheet.

Central Defence – BEAST 

Despite his incredible strength and low centre of gravity that’ll make him hard to shift off the ball, Hank McCoy aka Beast was chosen for his genius-level brain. With the buzzword ‘game management’ being pedalled round these days there’s no harm in having some serious smart on the pitch to help marshall the troops and as a founding member of the X-Men he knows how to be a team player.

Left Sided Central Defence – JUGGERNAUT

He may be the manager’s stepbrother but there’s no nepotism gone into selecting Juggernaut with him being extremely strong and powerful, super durable and virtually unstoppable. We can imagine him playing ball after ball out of defence, powering his way up the pitch to create plenty of opportunities. We just hope no one gets in his way, someone who can shatter mountains can probably do horrible things to an opposition player’s ankle.

Right Sided Central Defence – VENOM

There won’t be many players who fancy getting on the wrong side of the super-human evil alien symbiote that is Venom. His look alone with fierce razor-sharp teeth might have the other team staying in the safety of their own half rather than venturing near him in fear of a Louis Suarez type incident. Shapeshifting abilities mean he can turn himself into Paolo Maldini at will.

Central Midfield – CAPTAIN AMERICA (c)

Know for his strong leadership Cap is a shoe in to skipper the team. Added to this he’s hard as nails and anyone on the receiving end of a sliding tackle from Captain America will be feeling the effects for weeks. Oh and he hates losing, absolutely hates it.

Left Sided Central Midfield – DRAX THE DESTROYER

You’d imagine there would be some Roy Keane qualities in Guardian of the Galaxy Drax. Not a man to take any prisoners you can’t see him losing the ball without a fight, hopefully not to the death.

Right Sided Central Midfield – BLACK PANTHER

With his superhumanly acute senses, enhanced strength, speed, agility, stamina, durability, healing, and reflexes, Black Panther should be a bit of an animal to control on the pitch. Along with his intellect and ability to come up with a top-notch plan on the spot he’ll surely have the calm head required in a high-pressure game.

Right Wing – QUICKSILVER

Being the fastest man in the Marvel Universe means Quicksilver is a no brainer when it comes to the need for speed down the flank. The opposition’s defense will barely be able to see him as he flashes past them. The only question is how he’d stand up to a few nasty knocks?

Left Wing – WOLVERINE

They don’t come much more intense than old Logan and his mutant healing powers means he’ll never miss many, or possibly any games through injury. Let’s just hope he can keep those adamantium claws in, with VAR they’ll be able to check any off the ball incidents that leave opponents with open wounds.

Striker – HAWKEYE

Hawkeye is a man who knows how to hit a target so centre forward is the perfect position for him as he’ll likely know how to find the back of the net. He’s no superhuman powers but is at the absolute peak of human ability, so there shouldn’t be any fitness problems here. He does, however, suffer from a few temperament issues so will need a close eye kept on him, especially if he starts mouthing off to the ref.

Striker – DEADPOOL

He might not be everyone’s choice to play upfront, but no one can deny Deadpool has got skills. He’ll do a great job of winding up opposition defenders and potentially having a hand in getting them sent off. He’s a super athlete with incredible healing powers and has the it factor a star striker needs.

Substitutes:

DOCTOR OCTOPUS (GK) 

With that many arms Doc Oc is the perfect reserve goalie if Spidey’s senses happen to be a bit off.

HULK (CB) 

We all know Hulk can smash things and we didn’t put him in the starting eleven as we feared there could be some broken bones. He’s on the sidelines for now due to his problematic anger issues, but also in case there’s a need for a huge green enforcer to mix things up a bit.

STAR LORD (M) 

The leader of The Guardians is a good guy to have around the dressing room, he’s got plenty of banter to keep the troops motivated on and off the pitch and would be a busy player on the pitch covering plenty of ground box to box.

DAREDEVIL (CF)

He might be blind but his other four super-heightened senses give him abilities far beyond the limits of a sighted person. A good option on the bench if an impact player is needed.

COLOSSUS (CB/CF)

The perfect utility player. Can be used as a big target man up front or as an immovable object in defense.

Mascot – HOWARD THE DUCK

Every team needs a mascot and with the legendary bad tempered but undeniably cute Howard the Duck, you have the perfect lucky charm to rally the team on to victory in his own curmudgeonly style.

Who’d make your Marvel team? Let us know in the comments.