There are plenty of lists celebrating goals, assists and clean sheets but what about one celebrating footballs bad boys? Here are the top 10 footballers with the most red cards in football history.
10 footballers with the most red cards
10. Vinnie Jones
Footballer turned actor Vinnie Jones is the only British player on the list. Jones, who played for Wimbledon and Chelsea among other Premier League clubs, was known for his hard man image. He was sent off 12 times in his career and holds the record for the quickest ever booking in a football match. In an FA Cup tie between Chelsea and Sheffield United in 1992, he was shown a yellow card for a foul on Dane Whitehouse after just three seconds.
9. Mauricio Pochettino
The successful Argentine manager, now one of the highest paid coaches in the world, became a professional footballer after learning judo as a child. Perhaps this influenced him during his time playing as a centre-back for the likes of Espanyol, Paris Saint-Germain and Bordeaux. His tough tackling earned him 13 red cards during his playing career.
8. Felipe Melo
His physical, hard-tackling playing style has earned Felipe Melo the nicknames ‘Pitbull’ and ‘Gladiator’. During his career, the Brazilian midfielder has so far collected 14 red cards while playing for a range of top clubs, including Juventus, Inter and Galatasaray. Melo, now 36, is at the tail end of his career but is still using his aggressive skills at Brazilian Série A side Palmeiras.
7. Yannick Cahuzac
The 35 year old defensive midfielder, who currently plays for French Ligue 2 club Lens, has been shown a total of 17 red cards in his career. Playing for Bastia during the 2016/17 season, he set a Ligue 1 record, receiving three red cards in four games.
6. Pablo Alfaro
Spanish centre back Pablo Alfaro, who had his longest spell at a single club with Sevilla from 2000 to 2005, had the second most red cards in La Liga history with 18 dismissals. Watching him scythe down his opposition, you wouldn’t have guessed that the current manager of UD Ibiza majored in medicine.
5. Paolo Montero
The current manager of Italian Serie C club Sambenedettese, Paolo Montero holds the record for most red cards in Serie A history. He was sent off 16 times in the Italian league and 21 times in all competitions.
A talented defender for Atalanta and Juventus, Montero was also frequently criticized for his aggression and hard tackling playing style throughout his career. Ryan Giggs described Montero and Ciro Ferrara, his defensive teammate at Juventus, as “the toughest defenders I have ever played against”.
4. Alexis Ruano Delgado
Alexis Ruano Delgado, known simply as Alexis, is a Spanish central defender who plays for second division club Racing de Santander. In addition to collecting 22 red cards during his career, he was accused of match fixing during a short spell at the Turkish side Beşiktaş J.K.
3. Cyril Rool
The bronze medal goes to midfielder Cyril Rool, who played for a number of French top clubs including Marseille, Bordeaux, Nice and Monaco. His absurdly aggressive, and at time reckless, style of play landed him 25 red cards and 187 yellow cards.
2. Sergio Ramos
Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos is runner up on our list of players with the most red cards in football.
The Real Madrid and Spain legend picked up his 26th red card in the Champions League loss against Manchester City. A physically strong player and aggressive tackler, he is considered one of the best defenders in the modern era of football. At 34, he holds the records for the most red cards in La Liga (20) as well as in the Champions League (6).
1. Gerardo Bedoya
Former Colombian international Gerardo Bedoya is football’s is first on list of footballers with the most red cards. The defensive midfielder, who played for Racing, Millionarios, Boca Juniors and the Colombian national team was sent off a staggering 46 times. After his spells as player he became the manager of Colombian side Independiente Sante Fe. It will come as no surprise to you that he was sent to the stands during his first game in charge.
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