Footballers usually get punished with yellow cards or red cards when they commit mistakes on the pitch. Interestingly, some have gained worldwide attention for obtaining plenty of red cards in their careers. This article looks at a list of footballers with the most red cards in the sport's history.
Many people celebrate soccer stars with the most goals, assists and even clean sheets. However, those who do the dirty work are treated as villains. So, who has the most ever red cards? Find out below.
Footballers with the most red cards in soccer history
In this article, we sample a list of the top 20 footballers with the most red cards of all time, including the clubs they played.
20. Jermaine Jones (14)
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Jermaine Jones is a retired German-American defensive midfielder. He is among some of the famous footballers with the most red cards in history with 14 send-offs. Jones also played for both Germany and the American national teams. He spent his club career in England, Germany, the United States and Turkey.
19. Ricardo Quaresma (14)
Ricardo Quaresma is a veteran Portuguese winger and among the talented players to emerge from the country. He has played for FC Barcelona, Porto, Inter Milan, Chelsea, and Besiktas.
18. Giampiero Pinzi (14)
17. Alberto Lopo (15)
Alberto Lopo is a retired professional footballer who played for the Spain national football team. The defender was known for his rough tackles and could barely escape a card. He played for Espanyol, Getafe, and Deportivo La Coruña among others.
16. Philippe Mexes (16)
The former French centre-back was one of the toughest defenders of his generation. Philippe Mexes began his career at Auxerre and later joined Inter Milan and Roma in Italy.
15. Gonzalo Rodriguez (17)
14. Yannick Cahuzac (17)
Yannick Cahuzac is a French defensive midfielder currently playing for Lens in League One. He is known for receiving three red cards in four games during the 2016/17 Ligue 1 season.
13. Deividas Semberas (17)
The legendary Lithuanian defender also joins our list of footballers with the most red cards by year. Deividas played for Dynamo Moscow, CSKA Moscow, and Alania Vladikavkaz.
12. Pablo Alfaro (18)
Pablo Alfaro is the second-most red-carded player in La Liga history, with 18 dismissals. He was nicknamed 'The Surgeon' for his combative and solid football. The defender played for several clubs, including FC Barcelona, Real Zaragoza, Racing Santander, Atletico Madrid, and Sevilla.
11. Gerardo Torrado (18)
Gerardo Torrado is a retired Mexican soccer star who captained the national team. He was a talented defensive midfielder with good ball recovery and quality passing abilities. Torrado also played for Sevilla, Racing Santander, and Cruz Azul, among other clubs.
Top 10 players with the most red cards
Some of the most cautioned players in soccer include Sergio Ramos, Rafael Marquez, and Gerardo Bedoya. But who is the most red-carded player in football? Let us find out below.
10. Gary Medel (18)
The Chilean international has established himself among the toughest defenders that not many strikers would like to face. But unfortunately, his ability to make critical stops and tackles has come at the cost of receiving 18 marching orders in his career.
9. Fernando Amorebieta (19)
Fernando Amorebieta is among the veteran soccer stars with multiple red cards in their careers. The Venezuela-born footballer spent most of his time at Athletic Bilbao and Fulham as a central defender.
8. Matteo Contini (20)
The former Italian defender played for several clubs in Italy, including Napoli, Parma, and Real Zaragoza in Spain. Contini was among the highly-rated players during his time but had a problem avoiding punishment on the pitch.
7. Felipe Melo (20)
Brazilian international Felipe Melo enters our list with 20 red cards. The defensive midfielder was nicknamed 'Pitbull' for his style of play and physique, which resembles that of an MMA fighter.
6. Rafael Marquez (21)
Marquez is considered the best defender in Mexico's history. He also won many titles at the club level with Monaco and Barcelona. Besides his brilliance on the pitch, the legendary centre-back collected 21 red cards.
5. Paolo Montero (21)
The Uruguayan has the highest number of red cards received in Serie A history. Montero played for Juventus in Italy and believed in winning at all costs, even if it meant committing fouls.
4. Alexis Ruano Delgado (22)
Delgado is known for his violence and hot temper on the pitch. However, the Spanish centre-back will primarily be remembered for punching Mario Mandzukic. Alexis has received 22 red cards throughout his career.
3. Cyril Rool (27)
The retired French football midfielder is third on our list of players with multiple red cards in soccer. Many people will remember him for his ruthless game, blind tackles and being at the centre of brawls on the pitch.
2. Sergio Ramos (27)
Having a list of footballers with red cards without Sergio Ramos would be a crime. The former Real Madrid defender is known for his dirty work and strong character. He is currently the player with the most red cards in La Liga history (21).
The Spanish international picked the 27th red card of his career as a PSG player in December 2021. So, who tops our list of red-carded footballers?
1. Gerardo Bedoya (46)
The Colombian defensive midfielder is arguably the dirtiest footballer ever. Bedoya received 46 red cards while playing for several clubs. Interestingly, he was sent off just 21 minutes into his senior coaching debut in March 2016.
Most red-carded players in the Premier League
Who is the player with the most red cards in the Premier League? Former Arsenal and Man City defensive midfielder Patrick Viera leads the EPL's list with eight send-offs. Meanwhile, ex-Sunderland star Lee Cattermole had 7, making him the English footballer with the most red cards alongside Alan Smith (7). Roy Keane and Vinnie Jones also collected seven in their careers.
You might have noticed that stars with the most red cards in football are defenders or defensive midfielders. Generally, they are tasked with clearing the ball and stopping strikers from scoring at all costs.
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