Heroes of EURO 2016


Power : Mind-Body control 
Country : Sweden 
If there's one player who thinks he could be Loki -- you know, have the ability to rule everyone because, well, he rules -- it's Zlatan. The antihero who has created an entire mythology around himself, Zlatan also draws parallels to the rightful heir to the throne, Thunder God Thor: powerful and sometimes unstoppable. All that's lacking, according to Zlatan, is for France to tear down the Eiffel Tower and replace it with (what else?) a statue of him.


Power : Box-to-box prowess 
Country : France 
Even though he's only 23 years old, youth hasn't stopped Pogba from proclaiming that he wants to be a legend, someone who redefines the midfield by combining the best of Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. His youthful exuberance and fearlessness for the fight brings to mind a young Spider-Man, yet with the cocky edge of Daredevil. Pogba will run 30 yards just to tackle a player or pull off a filthy assist, like the one he recently executed for France in their friendly against Cameroon. Are you kidding? He isn't. As if it weren't already easy to spot him dominating games, he often boasts a killer haircut to match his world-beating ambitions.


Power : Super strength 
Country : England 
Think the Hulk, but in a shorter, stockier package. Rooney made his big splash on the international stage at Euro 2004 and is still going strong. Powerful, but most definitely not graceful, he can play virtually any position. But he can also lose the plot, with a history of ill-timed, ill-advised violent tackles and red cards -- think the Punisher meting out his own brand of justice. When he's not seeing red, however, Rooney captures the attention of everyone.


Power : Goal-scoring boots 
Country : Portugal 
You just know there's plenty of Tony Stark coursing through Ronaldo's veins. At once arrogant and brilliant, Ronaldo has the ultimate Iron Man suit carved into his torso, something he's fond of reminding us after scoring big goals (look, the man can't keep his shirt on -- deal with it!) Slick and quick, with a bit of the impudent Star-Lord in him, CR7 isn't a quintessential team player -- he'll go it alone anytime, beating you with his left or right foot, his head, or his speed -- and knows all the haters are just jealous.


Power : Blinding pace 
Country : Wales 
Like Quicksilver, this Welsh one-trick pony's blinding, superhuman speed is one hell of a trick. Bale can outpace and outpower defenders as he races down the pitch to score with his favoured left foot. His ability to focus on the task at hand conjures images of Iron Fist, a man who can summon and focus his chi to get the job done. That's a good thing, too, because Bale has the burden and privilege of leading his tiny home country in their first major tournament since 1958.

More Stories